Former MLB All-Star Roy Halladay dies in Gulf of Mexico plane crash
Roy Halladay, an eight-time MLB All-Star and two-time Cy Young award winner, has died after his plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday.
Halladay's ICON A5 light sport aircraft crashed into the Gulf 10 miles west of St. Petersburg at about 1 p.m., the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said.
Officials confirmed in a 3:15 Central Time press conference that Halladay was the lone victim in the crash.
There were witnesses to the crash, which occurred in a popular flight path where planes approach land, according to the Pasco County sheriff's office. It was first confirmed that the tail number of the plane involved matched the plane registered to Halladay before it was revealed that the former pitcher was flying it.
The NTSB was handling the investigation.
Halladay, 40, loved flying. He posted several photos of his plane to his Twitter account last month, calling it a dream come true.
I’m really not big on posting pic’s of my stuff and I’ll never be on Cribs... but this A5 is so outrageous I’d feel guilty not sharing pics! pic.twitter.com/UUmZMfgsff— Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) October 17, 2017
What do clouds feel like? I didn’t know either until I got my new Icon A5! I’m getting bruises on my arms from constantly pinching myself! pic.twitter.com/BaObEUj3Xo— Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) October 13, 2017
Halladay was so much a fan of his ICON that an October article by the company featured him receiving the first 2018 model of the plane.
"I've been dreaming about flying since I was a boy but was only able to become a pilot once I retired from baseball," Halladay said in the article. "I've owned other aircraft, but no aircraft embodies the adventure or captured the dream of flying like the A5. Not only is it the safest and easiest aircraft I've ever flown, it is hands-down the most fun. The beaches, lakes, and waterways my family and I get to explore around Florida are mind-blowing. Words don't do justice to what the A5 allows us to experience. Even my wife, who used to be uncomfortable in small planes, now asks where we should take the A5 for the weekend. I'm honored to own the first A5 Founders Edition."
The company said they were notified of the crash but only said they're investigating the incident and working to gather more information.
Halladay was a three-time 20-game winner in his 16-year career with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, compiling 205 wins and 103 losses as a pro. He made eight All-Star teams in a span of 10 years from 2002-2011.
He's expected to be on the 2019 Hall of Fame ballot, his first year of eligibility for the honor.
The Phillies and Blue Jays each released a statement on Halladay's "sudden and tragic" passing.
Phillies statement on the sudden & tragic passing of Roy Halladay: pic.twitter.com/gGhv7JUKv0— Phillies (@Phillies) November 7, 2017
Statement from the Blue Jays organization on the tragic passing of Roy Halladay: pic.twitter.com/Ih8D0RQE9p— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) November 7, 2017
A Pasco County sheriff's office spokesman called Halladay a friend of the department and a "true loss" for the Tampa Bay community.
"Roy meant a lot to the sheriff's office," he said. "He was there whenever we needed him. He was probably one of the most humble human beings you'll ever meet."
"You wouldn't know what Roy did, because Roy would never tell you what he did. And that's the legacy of a great man."