Probe into boat crash that killed Miami Marlins' baseball star Jose Fernandez

 Investigators investigate the overturned boat on a jetty in which Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in Miami Beach.
Investigators investigate the overturned boat on a jetty in which Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in Miami Beach.PHOTO: REUTERS

MIAMI • The authorities in Florida in the United States are investigating the death of one of baseball's best young players, the Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident in Miami Beach early on Sunday.

The 24-year-old was one of three people killed in the accident, which happened when the 32-foot vessel struck an unlit rock jetty at a channel called Government Cut at high speed.

Officer Lorenzo Veloz, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said it could not be determined whether alcohol or drugs had been involved in the crash because the boat was badly damaged.

Toxicology tests will be performed, he added. None of the men were wearing life vests.

There were moments of silence before every Major League Baseball game and tributes of all fashions on Sunday for Fernandez, whose infectious enthusiasm made him immensely popular with team-mates, peers and fans.

"When you watch kids play Little League, that's the joy Jose played with," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said during an emotional news conference.

Fernandez's potential was noticed while he was in high school in Tampa. He quickly established himself as a rising prospect during his first season with the Marlins, being named the National League's Rookie of the Year in 2013.

His career stalled after just eight starts in the 2014 season, and he took the rest of the year off to recover from surgery to reconstruct injured elbow ligaments.

This year, with the Marlins just hanging on to play-off contention, Fernandez was enjoying his best season, having won 16 of his 29 starts.

He was also about to become a father with his girlfriend expecting the couple's first baby.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 27, 2016, with the headline 'Probe into boat crash that killed baseball star'. Print Edition | Subscribe