Tragedy strikes the LA Angels

Nick Adenhart

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Los Angeles Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart and two other people were killed early Thursday when a minivan ran a red light and struck the sports car they were traveling in, authorities said.

Adenhart, 22, died after undergoing surgery, University of California, Irvine Medical Center spokesman John Murray said.

A fourth person remained hospitalized in critical condition.

Angels outfielder Torii Hunter was sleeping when his wife called him, asking whether the news was true. Hunter immediately called the Angels’ team trainer, who confirmed that Adenhart had been killed.

“I’m in shock right now,” Hunter said. “He just pitched last night. It doesn’t seem like this is happening.

“This is real life. This isn’t about baseball. This is his whole life, he had his whole life ahead of him. He’s only 22, he’s still a kid. He was a great kid, he was funny, he was very popular in the clubhouse and off the field. People loved him.”

Adenhart and three other people were in a silver Mitsubishi that was struck shortly before 12:30 a.m. local time by a minivan that ran a red light and also hit another vehicle, police said.

The sports car struck a light pole, killing three people inside.

The crash took place just hours after Adenhart pitched in a loss against the Oakland Athletics. He got a no-decision after six scoreless innings, giving up seven hits, striking out five and walking three in just his fourth major league start.

Police Lt. Craig Brower said the minivan driver fled the crash scene and was captured a short time later. The driver was arrested and booked for investigation of felony hit-and-run.

According to the Los Angeles Times, two people were pronounced dead at the scene, and two were taken to Irvine Medical Center.

Adenhart, a 6-foot-3, 185-pounder from Silver Spring, Md., was a 14th-round pick in the 2004 draft, and made his major league debut on May 1, 2008, also against the Athletics.

He made two other major league starts, getting his only decision in a victory over the Chicago White Sox on May 12. He was 37-28 in the minor leagues from 2005 to 2008, including 9-13 last year at Triple-A Salt Lake.

He got his break this year with a good spring training and the fact the team needed help in the starting rotation, with John Lackey, Ervin Santana and Kelvim Escobar all starting on the disabled list.

There was no word on whether the Angels’ Thursday night game against the Athletics will still take place.

“I’m pretty sure we’ll go to the stadium,” Hunter said. “I think we’re going to get together, that’s what [manager] Mike [Scioscia] does. We’ll talk about what we need to do about helping the family out. Forget us, I worry about his family. That’s real love right there. Baseball is temporary.

“That could have been any baseball player out there, it could have been any of us out there last night.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: