Former baseball star Roy Halladay, who twice won a Cy Young Award and was selected 8 times for the annual All-Star Game, was killed Tuesday when his plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off Florida, officials say. He was 40 years old.
The incident happened at about 12:06 p.m. ET on Tuesday when the ICON A5 aircraft went down in the water north of Bailey’s Bluff in Holiday, or about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of St. Petersburg. Halladay was the only person on board the small plane.
“I can tell you, sadly, it has turned into a recovery. We recovered one body,” said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco. “And it is sad to say it’s a friend of ours, it’s Roy Halladay. Many know Roy as a Cy Young winner, future Hall of Famer, one of the best pitchers who has ever pitched the game of baseball.”
There was no immediate word on the cause of Tuesday’s accident, but Sheriff Nocco said no mayday calls had been received. Both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate.
Halladay, who was born in Denver, Colorado, in 1977, was one of the best pitchers of the last decades. He played for the Toronto Blue Jays from 1998 until 2009, after which he joined the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010. He retired in December 2013 due to a persistent back injury.
Halladay won the Cy Young Award in 2003 and 2010. He was also selected a total of eight times for the annual MLB All-Star Game. He further received the nickname “Doc,” a reference to Wild West gunslinger “Doc” Holliday.
Over the past few months, Halladay frequently expressed his love for flying on social media. “I have dreamed about owning a A5 since I retired! Real life is better then my dreams!!,” he wrote on Twitter on October 13.
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