I just watched John Carpenter's The Thing, and also the 2011 version.
One thing I can't work out is if The Thing was the pilot of the space ship, or a passenger. It's possible there is no in-universe definitive answer, but I'm open to suggestions.
My original assumption (based on the 1982 movie) was that it was a passenger, and that the ship crashed because there was nobody left able to fly it. But the 2011 movie makes me question that assumption.