Autopsy Reveals Baseball Star Had Drugs, Alcohol in System

Roy Halladay crashed his plane off coast of Florida in November
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2018 11:30 AM CST
Autopsy Reveals Baseball Star Had Drugs, Alcohol in System
A photo of former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay and a floral arrangement of his Toronto jersey number are on display during a memorial tribute for Halladay at the Philadelphia Phillies spring training baseball stadium, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, in Clearwater, Fla.   (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Former baseball star Roy Halladay had evidence of morphine, an amphetamine, Ambien, alcohol, and Prozac in his system when he crashed his plane into the Gulf of Mexico last November, USA Today reports. The two-time Cy Young winner's autopsy report was released Friday. A cause of death was listed as blunt force trauma with drowning as a contributing factor. While Halladay only had a BAC of .01, the New York Daily News reports he had surpassed the level of Ambien in his system that the FDA finds is "capable of impairing driving to a degree that increases the risk of a motor vehicle accident." FAA regulations forbid the use of alcohol eight hours before flying or "any drug that affects the person's faculties in any way contrary to safety."

"The drugs are particularly important in the assessment of the impairment of Mr. Halladay while operating the plane," Dr. Bruce Goldberger at University of Florida Health Forensic Medicine tells the Tampa Bay Times. "The [National Transportation Safety Board] will take this evidence under consideration during their investigation of this accident." However, the presence of drugs in Halladay's system is not a confirmation he was flying his personal plane while impaired, Goldberger cautions. Halladay died after crashing his sport plane off the coast of Florida. The 40-year-old was the only person in the aircraft. Halladay spent 16 years as a professional pitcher with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. He retired in 2013.
(More Roy Halladay stories.)

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