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Last Updated Nov 7, 2017 5:47 PM EST

HOLIDAY, Fla. — Authorities say former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay is dead after his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday. He was 40.

The plane crashed around noon Tuesday near Holiday, Florida, where first responders found Halladay’s body, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said in a news conference. 

The National Transportation Safety Board was heading to the scene of the crash and will lead the investigation, Nocco said.

The Philadelphia Phillies issued a statement saying the club is “numb over the very tragic news” of Halladay’s “untimely death.”

“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. It is with the heaviest of hearts that we pass along our condolences to Brandy, Ryan and Braden,” the statement said.

Halladay was flying an ICON A5, a two-person, single engine amphibian plane when it went down into the water west of Ben Pilot Point in New Port Richey, police said in a statement. It said no Mayday calls were made to Tampa Air Traffic Control and no one else was aboard the plane.

A viewer sent CBS Tampa affiliate WTSP-TV video of the wreckage that showed images of the plane. Halladay often posted images and video of the plane on his social media accounts.

ICON Aircraft said they were notified of the crash and are investigating the incident.

In October, the company featured Halladay in an article about 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. “Not only is it the safest and easiest aircraft I’ve ever flown, it is hands-down the most fun.”

Halladay was a former eight-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner. He pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays from 1998 to 2009 and played with the Philadelphia Phillies from 2010-2013.

Halladay was also nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award thanks to his work with underprivileged children, CBS Sports writes.

82nd MLB All-Star Game

Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the first inning of the MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field on July 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.


Current and former players in league expressed their condolences with Halladay’s family on social media.

His former Phillies teammate Shane Victorino wrote: “Gone too soon my friend!!! Blessed to have shared the field with you as a teammate, competitor, friend and more importantly a brother. Praying for Brandy, Ryan and Brayden.”

Ryan Howard, former Phillies player and current first baseman of the Colorado Rockies, tweeted: “Such a sad day. We lost a great ball player but an even better human being. Many prayers to Brandy, Ryan, & Brayden. We will miss you Roy.”

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner tweeted: “Honored to have had the opportunity to step in the box against the Hall of Famer Roy Halladay. Sick to my stomach to hear the news.”

Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander wrote: “Shocked and saddened… gone way too soon. One of the best ever. #RIPDoc.”

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