Modified stock car great Michael Stefanik has been killed in a single-engine plane crash along the Rhode Island-Connecticut border. He was 61.

Connecticut State Police say the crash happened Sunday afternoon in Sterling near the Rhode Island state line. The exact cause is still under investigation.

Police say the single-engine, single-seat Aerolite 103 took off from the Riconn Airport in Coventry, Rhode Island, and had been turning back toward the airfield when it crashed into a wooded area near the airport.

Stefanik was brought to the hospital with severe burns and was pronounced dead.

NASCAR confirmed that Stefanik was killed in the accident.
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Local resident Allen Sayles, who lives near the airfield, told Providence's NBC affiliate that his grandson and the boy's father witnessed Stefanik miraculously walking away from the crash before succumbing to his injuries.

'They said he was walking and he was talking,' said Sayles. 'He was out of the plane he was like 15 feet from the plane.'