WASHINGTON (UPI) — Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Roy Halladay was performing stunts and had high levels of amphetamines in his system when he crashed his small plane into the Gulf of Mexico and died in 2017, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Halladay, who was an eight-time All-Star selection, performed three maneuvers in his ICON A5 plane before crashing into the water, according to the report. The moves, which were described by witnesses as “spins” and “rolls,” put loads of nearly two-times gravity on the plane and sometimes came within five feet of the water.
On the final maneuver, Halladay entered a steep climb and his speed fell to about 85 mph, according to the report. The aircraft went into a nosedive and plunged into the water.
The report says Halladay, 40, died of blunt force trauma and drowning.
During the flight, Halladay had the sedative zolpidem (also known as Ambien), amphetamine, morphine, the antidepressant fluoxetine, hydromorphone and a muscle relaxant known as baclofen in his system. According to the report, the level of amphetamines in Halladay’s blood was about 10 times greater than the therapeutic level.
The NTSB’s report didn’t provide a final reason for the crash.
Halladay and his father were known aviation enthusiasts and the former MLB pitcher received the first 2018 model of the ICON A5 aircraft, WTSP reported in November 2017.
Halladay, who logged more than 700 hours as a private pilot, purchased the light sport two-seat amphibious plane a month before the crash. According to the report, he had only 14 1/2 hours of flight time in the ICON A5 aircraft that crashed.
Halladay was a two-time Cy Young Award-winning pitcher who played for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies during his 16-year career. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame posthumously last year.
Reporting by Connor Grott
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