Phillies: Details of Roy Halladay plane crash revealed

Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images) /

Further details about late Phillies great Roy Halladay’s tragic November 2017 plane crash have been revealed by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Further details regarding the tragic passing of late, great Hall of Fame pitcher RHP Roy Halladay were revealed on Wednesday in a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report.

Halladay’s small Icon A5 propeller-driven plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico on November 7, 2017. At the time of the tragedy, his system reportedly had high-levels of morphine, an anti-depressant that can impair judgement, and amphetamines — about 10 times therapeutic levels — while doing “extreme acrobatics” when he lost control, according to The Associated Press.

The pitcher also was battling chronic back pain, depression and insomnia, and, in 2013 and 2015, he went to rehab for opioid, benzodiazepine misuse.

RELATED | Phillies to Retire No. 34 in Honor of Late RHP Roy Halladay

The NTSB report says that during Halladay’s last flight, he entered a steep climb, 85 miles per hour, before his plane nosedived and crashed into the water, causing him to pass away from blunt force trauma and drowning. Halladay’s father, Harry Leroy Halladay Jr., shared with NTSB that he was concerned Roy’s prescription medications abuse “may have played a role in the accident.”

According to AP, Halladay took off from a lake near his home “about 15 minutes before the crash”; he flew nearly 105 miles per hour just 11 feet above the water before he began his acrobatic maneuvers, which “put loads of nearly two-times gravity on the plane.”

The Denver, Colorado, native, AP further reports, had nearly 700 hours of flight experience after getting his pilot’s license the same year he retired from Major League Baseball (2013). More than 50 of those hours were in the type of plane he crashed.

RELATED | 3 Things to Learn from Kobe Bryant, Roy Halladay’s Passing

Just two weeks before his crash, Halladay’s plane maker, Icon, issued a warning that low-altitude flying “can be one of the most rewarding and exciting types of flying,” however it “comes with an inherent set of additional risks that require additional considerations.” Icon says that Halladay received and reviewed this message, however there was no indication in NTSB’s report that he received proper low-altitude training.

Halladay pitched 16 seasons in the majors, including four with the Phillies from 2010 to 2013. Across 103 starts in red pinstripes , he went 55-29 with a 3.25 ERA; in 2010, the eight-time All-Star earned a National League Cy Young Award nod after going 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA, along with a MLB-best nine complete games, four shutouts, and 250 2/3 innings pitched.

In just his first season with the Phillies, Halladay tossed a perfect game and playoff no-hitter; he had served as a Phillies spring training guest instructor several years following his retirement, and was posthumously inducted into the team’s Wall of Fame and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.