An aircraft owned by former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay has crashed on the Florida Gulf Coast, with the All-Star pitcher confirmed dead. He was 40 years old.
The plane went down on Nov. 7 in Pasco County, with the likely future Hall of Fame pitcher feared to be the person whose life was lost in the crash.
At 4:15 p.m., Pasco County sheriff Chris Nocco confirmed that the crash had turned into a recovery mission, and Halladay was confirmed to be the body that had been recovered.
Nocco said that he had heard of a plane crash while driving in Wesley Chapel, Fla. The information he had confirmed that Halladay’s plane was the one involved, and he initially hoped that the incident would be a search and rescue mission rather than a recovery mission.
Photos provided further confirmation that Halladay was the owner of the plane, confirming that the rest of the plane matched the plane that had crashed into the Gulf. Details of how the crash happened are not yet available.
Nocco said that he did not want to speculate as to what might have happened to the plane or what Halladay’s flight path might have been. He stated that Halladay was the only one in the plane and was flying the plane when it went down.
Halladay has been known to be interested in flying for some time, but was contractually prohibited from getting his pilot’s license until after he had retired from baseball. He received his current plane in October and called it the safest and easiest aircraft that he has ever flown.
Halladay spent the majority of his major league career with the Blue Jays, developing into one of the best pitchers in the game. He reached eight All-Star teams, six with Toronto and two with the Phillies, where he earned the chance to pitch in the playoffs and threw a perfect game against the Marlins. When he made his playoff debut, he was masterful on the mound, tossing a no-hitter in his first postseason start.
In 2003, Halladay was a teammate of pitcher Cory Lidle, who would lose his life in 2006 in a plane crash less than a year after getting his pilot’s license. Halladay still maintained his dream of flying himself and was able to obtain his own pilot’s license during his retirement.
Halladay has not posted on his Twitter account since the weekend, when he posted a picture of a tournament for the youth baseball team he coaches. He was known to post pictures of his flying and was known to occasionally take guests with him on his flights.
More information will be posted as it becomes available.