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Columbia astronaut's parents were victims in deadly Oro Valley crash

Posted at 11:35 AM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-26 14:36:54-04

TUCSON, AZ — A couple who died in a car crash in southern Arizona has been identified as the parents of one of the astronauts killed on the space shuttle Columbia.

The Arizona Daily Star reported Monday that Margory and Richard Brown were the mother and stepfather of astronaut Laurel Clark.

Police say the Browns, both 85, were approaching an intersection in Oro Valley when they collided with a 19-year-old man making a U-turn.

The impact caused the couple's car to collide with an oncoming tow truck, sending their vehicle into a tree.

Clark was one of seven astronauts who died Feb. 1, 2003 when Columbia broke apart during re-entry over Texas, just minutes before a Florida touchdown.

In 2006, Clark's family helped dedicate a bronze sculpture in Tucson in her memory.