(NEW YORK) — The small plane crash that killed former MLB star pitcher Roy Halladay on Tuesday was a “high-energy impact,” a National Transportation Safety Board official said today.
But the official added that NTSB investigators have not yet seen video obtained by TMZ that shows the plane making abrupt maneuvers before the crash, The NTSB would not comment Wednesday on witnesses who said Halladay was “showboating” before the small plane went down.
The former athlete was flying his Icon A5, “a two-person, single-engine amphibian plane when the plane went down” off the coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday. Halladay was the only passenger on the plane at the time, officials said.
The NTSB is leading the investigation and is working to develop a timeline of the incident, but NTSB investigators do not yet know what time Halladay took off, according to a press conference.
So far, investigators have documented the scene of the crash and recovered the aircraft’s wreckage from the water, including two data recorders, which will be shipped to the NTSB’s lab in Washington, D.C., the NTSB said Wednesday. The aircraft did not have a voice recorder on board, the NTSB said.
NTSB investigators have also begun to interview witnesses, many of whom say they observed the aircraft maneuvering at low altitudes before the crash.
Halladay received his pilot’s license in 2013 and his log books show he had notched 700 flight hours. The NTSB will look at his experience, training and medical status as they continue their investigation.
Icon Aircraft said in a statement Tuesday, “We were devastated to learn that former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay died today in an accident involving an ICON A5 in the Gulf of Mexico. We have gotten to know Roy and his family in recent months, and he was a great advocate and friend of ours. The entire ICON community would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Roy’s family and friends. ICON will do everything it can to support the accident investigation going forward and we will comment further when more information is available.”
Halladay spent 16 seasons in the MLB, playing for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies.
He was an eight-time All-Star and won the Cy Young Award in 2003 and 2010. During the regular season in 2010, Halladay pitched a perfect game against the then-Florida Marlins. Later that year during the playoffs, Halladay pitched a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds. It was only the second no-hitter in postseason history.
Halladay led the league twice in victories with 22 wins in 2003 and 21 in 2010.
Halladay retired from baseball in 2013. He has an impressive win-loss record of 203-105 with a career 3.38 ERA and 2,117 strikeouts.
The Phillies said in a statement, “We are numb over the very tragic news. … There are no words to describe the sadness that the entire Phillies family is feeling over the loss of one of the most respected human beings to ever play the game.”
The Blue Jays said in a statement that the organization is “overcome by grief with the tragic loss of one of the franchise’s greatest and most respected players, but even better human being. It is impossible to express what he has meant to this franchise, the city and its fans. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
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