Miami Marlins Ace Jose Fernandez, 24, Killed In Boating Accident

by and Emily Krauser 8:21 AM PDT, September 25, 2016
Playing Miami Marlins Ace Jose Fernandez, 24, Killed In Boating Accident

The Miami Marlins's ace right-handed pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident along with two other people, the U.S. Coast Guard said Sunday.

According to the Coast Guard, the boat crash happened off Miami Beach early Sunday. "A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Miami was heading out on a law enforcement patrol at approximately 3:30 a.m. Sunday when they passed a jetty along Government Cut and discovered an overturned 33-foot center console boat on the jetty with three deceased aboard," the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The Marlins and others confirmed the death of one of the top pitchers in baseball. The identity of the other two men killed in the accident have not been revealed yet. No one was wearing a life vest.

Photos from the scene of the accident show an overturned boat on top of a jetty.

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During a news conference on Sunday, spokesman Lorenzo Veloz of the Florida fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said that speed was suspected as a factor in the accident due to the impact with the jetty, according to USA Today Sports. No evidence of illegal drug use or alcohol was found.

Following the tragic news, the Marlins cancelled their home game against the Atlanta Braves that had been set for Sunday. In a statement, the Marlins say they are "devastated by the tragic loss of José Fernández. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time."

Heartbreakingly, Fernandez's last Instagram post from earlier this week announced that his girlfriend was pregnant. "I'm so glad you came into my life," he captioned a black-and-white image of his girlfriend cradling her baby bump. "I'm ready for where this journey is going to take us. #familyfirst."

Photo: Instagram

Fernandez, 24, was born in Cuba, and he defected to the U.S. in 2008. In 2013, he was voted the National League rookie of the year, and placed third in Cy Young Award voting.

In his MLB career he was 38-17 with an ERA of 2.58 and 589 strikeouts. Many considered him one of the sport's top pitchers.