Former Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay was killed in a plane crash over the Gulf of Mexico near Tampa, Florida on Tuesday afternoon.
The news was confirmed by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office at a 4:15 p.m. press conference.
According to Sheriff Chris Nocco, Halladay was flying a single engine, two-passenger Icon A-5 plane. He was the only person on board. Details regarding the crash and what may have happened in-flight will be the jurisdiction of the National Transportation Safety Board, as it standard procedure.
“I can confirm there was only one body involved. Sad to say, it’s a friend of ours. It’s Roy Halladay. Many of you know Roy as a Cy Young winner and future Hall of Famer, one of the best pitchers to play the game of baseball. We knew Roy as a person, a caring husband who loved his wife Brandy. He loved his two boys tremendously. He coached our (youth) baseball teams. When he spoke of his family, he spoke with pride.”
“He was one of the most humble people you’d ever meet.”
Nocco explained that members of the public saw at least some of what happened:
“There are witnesses who saw something, but as I said, all of that information is going to go to NTSB. The Sheriff’s Office is not involved in the crash investigation. I don’t want to put anything out there that NTSB wouldn’t want us to release.”
Nocco was asked to describe the scene:
“The (marine and maritime unit) could see the tail number. There is some debris. Some of the debris, due to the tide, has shifted a little bit. We’re working with the NTSB on the forensics piece of this investigation. Our dive team was in the water as quick as they could. From our standpoint, it was a rescue mission. Someone goes down into shallow water, and this is kind of on the flight pattern where people are getting lower (in altitude), so I can imagine, from our perspective, the deputies who were first arriving out there, they were hoping that the plane was low enough that somebody could have ditched it and got out.”
“The plane is pretty much in solid condition. However, there is debris, there are pieces that have floated away. Due to the tide and the shifts, we’re working on retrieving for NTSB. Our maritime unit is going to be guarding the boat.”
Halladay played for the Phillies from 2010 to 2013. He was an eight-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner. He pitched a perfect game and threw a postseason no-hitter during his first year with the franchise and retired from baseball shortly after leaving Philadelphia.
In recent years, Halladay lived in Tarpon Springs, Florida, with his family. He recently served as a guest instructor during Phillies spring training in nearby Clearwater and had also pursued a psychology degree at the University of South Florida. He coached local youth sports teams and had recently taken up a love of flying, with frequent social media posts touching on his passion.
Roy Halladay was 40 years old.