Roy Halladay, former MLB star pitcher, killed in Florida plane crash

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 12: Starter Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch in the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Citizens Bank Park on September 12, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

FLORIDA –Pitcher Roy Halladay, who won two Cy Young awards and more than 200 major league baseball games during a stellar career, died Tuesday in a plane crash off the Florida coast, authorities said.

Halladay, 40, was the only person on the two-seater plane that crashed just off Holiday, on Florida’s Gulf coast north of the Tampa Bay area, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said.

The single-engine plane, an Icon A5, crashed in very shallow water and was found upside down.

According to the Pasco County Sheriff’s office, a 911 call came in at 12:06 p.m. ET saying that a small plane had crashed.

Halladay pitched parts of 16 seasons in the major leagues, the first 12 with the Toronto Blue Jays. He won the Cy Young for the Jays in 2003, when he went 22-7 with a 3.25 ERA and led the American League with nine complete games.

He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies before the 2010 season and won another Cy Young in his first year with the team. That season he went 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and threw a perfect game in the regular season and a no-hitter in his first postseason start.

“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,” a team statement said. “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we pass along our condolences to (his wife) Brandy, (and sons) Ryan and Braden.”

“He was one in a million,” said Nocco, the sheriff, who was a friend of Halladay’s. “It is a true loss for us. … His heart was a heart of gold. He was an unbelievable human being.”

Former Blue Jays teammate Vernon Wells said Halladay was one of the best pitchers ever.

“I had a front row seat to watch his greatness. RIP Doc,” Wells tweeted.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.