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One day after his body was recovered from the Gulf of Mexico, witness video surfaced showing the moments before former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay‘s aircraft crashed.
The video, obtained by TMZ Sports, is filmed by several people on a nearby boat. The video shows what’s believed to be Halladay’s Icon A5 flying over the Gulf, and it starts from hundreds of feet in the air before plummeting down just several feet above the water — to the disbelief of the witnesses.
A subsequent video filmed by the witnesses say they were heading out to the downed aircraft, which they saw crash minutes beforehand.
“This was crazy, we saw it go into the Gulf of Mexico, literally,” the man filming says.
The group sounds stunned as they approach the scene of the crash and utter several profanities.
“Is anybody calling 911?” a man asks before surveying the wreckage. “Oh my God, bro, what was he thinking?”
Halladay’s A5 plane is described as being designed to make flying simple and has drawn comparisons of being a sports car with wings that’s able to move throughout the air like a jet ski.
Watch the video below (NOTE: The video contains profane language):
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office identified Halladay as the deceased pilot at a press conference several hours after the crash following a recovery mission.
Halladay, 40, was one of the most successful pitchers in the modern era with a career that stretched 16 years. He played for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies and is survived by his two children and wife, Brandy. Halladay threw two no-hitters in his career — during the same season — and will be remembered for his continuous philanthropy. After he announced his retirement in 2013, he obtained his pilot’s license and started flying planes while also coaching his children’s baseball teams.
Halladay said that his father was a corporate pilot and he grew up around airplanes, which inspired him to start flying.
“In the air or on the water!” his Twitter bio read, with a photo of him piloting an aircraft as his profile picture.
Many of his social media posts involved him flying with friends and family members, and one in particular, posted October 31, showed him standing in front of the plane that crashed into the Gulf.
An October 12 press release by ICON Aircraft said that it delivered the first Model Year 2018 (MY18) A5 to Halladay, who’s been a “regular ICON A5 renter” for years. That was the plane which ended up crashing into the Gulf, law enforcement officials said.
“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 release. “I’ve owned other aircraft, but no aircraft embodies the adventure or captured the dream of flying like the A5. Not only is it the safest and easiest aircraft I’ve ever flown, it is hands-down the most fun. The beaches, lakes, and waterways my family and I get to explore around Florida are mind-blowing. Words don’t do justice to what the A5 allows us to experience. Even my wife, who used to be uncomfortable in small planes, now asks where we should take the A5 for the weekend. I’m honored to own the first A5 Founders Edition.”
When he wasn’t flying planes, Halladay coached his sons’ youth baseball teams.