Nick Adenhart: LA Angels Rookie Pitcher Killed in Car Accident
Los Angeles Angels' pitcher, Nick Adenhart, was killed in a hit-and-run car crash early Thursday morning. Adenhart, along with two others, were killed in Fullerton, CA shortly after midnight this morning when a drunk driver blew through a red light at the intersection of Orangethorpe Avenue and Lemon Street.
Adenhart, a 22 year old rookie for the Angels, made his season debut and pitched at Wednesday's game against the Oakland Athletics only hours before the tragic accident.
Several witnesses told police the driver of a red minivan ran a red light at the intersection, hitting a silver Mitsubishi carrying four passengers. Two people in the Mitsubishi were pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, authorities said. Two others also in the Mitsubishi were taken to a nearby hospital, where one was later pronounced dead
After the crash, the driver of the minivan fled on foot only to be apprehended by police about a mile away from the scene. The driver was taken into custody on suspicion of hit-and-run. Charged with felony hit-and-run already, other charges against the driver are pending as the investigation continues.
A passenger in the minivan was subsequently taken to Western Medical Center--the condition of the individual is unknown.
A third vehicle also was struck, but there were no reports that anyone inside was hurt. Authorities said the intersection will be closed at least until noon as the investigation continues.
An Angels employee, reached by telephone, said that the team was preparing a news release and that its media relations department was not taking any calls at that time.
Adenhart was pronouced dead around 6 a.m. on Thursday April, 9 after undergoing surgery according to a University of California-Irvine Medical Center spokesman.
Update: April 9, 2009 2:00 p.m.
Officials just said the driver of the van, Andrew Gallo, who caused the fatal accident has an arrest history of DUI and at the time of the crash they say they believe he was driving on a suspended license because of a prior drunk driving conviction. They also say at the time of this morning's crash the driver was under the influence. Law enforcement says he will be booked on felony hit and run, felony DUI, vehicular manslaughter and possibly murder.
A joint press conferrence with the Fullerton Police Department and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Organization is scheduled to take place in Angels Stadium to address the media about the accident.
The Los Angeles Angels game that was scheduled for tonight has been cancelled.
Update: April 9, 2009 4:20 p.m.
The second victim of fatal accident has been identified as Henry Nigel Pearson. Pearson, 25, was reportedly a law student with aspirations of becoming a sports agent. Pearson was also an avid baseball enthusiast, as well as, friends with the only survivor, John Wilhite. Whilite, a former baseball star at California State University Fullerton, is currently receiving treatment at the University of California at Irvine medical center's Intensive Care Unit. Although undergoing treatment, Whilite is both conscious and able to move his legs. The third victim, also a California State Fullerton student, Courtney Stewart, was the driver of the Mitsubishi that collided into a light pole after being hit by Andrew Gallo's minivan.
Gallo has an arrest history of DUI and at the time of the crash they say they believe he was driving on a suspended license because of a prior drunk driving conviction. They also say at the time of this morning's crash the driver was under the influence. Law enforcement says he will be booked on felony hit and run, felony DUI, vehicular manslaughter and possibly murder.
The California State Fullerton Director of Athletics released a statement saying,
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Courtney Stewart and Jon Wilhite. The world of athletics is not equipped for these kinds of tragic events. We understand Jon is conscious and his injuries are not immediately life-threatening"