ANAHEIM, Calif. — Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two other people were killed Thursday by a suspected drunk driver just hours after the rookie made his first start of the season.
The Angels postponed Thursday night's game with Oakland, and players planned to gather to remember their teammate, Manager Mike Scioscia said.
"It is a tragedy that will never be forgotten," he said at an Angel Stadium news conference.
The 22-year-old Adenhart was a passenger in a silver Mitsubishi Eclipse that was broadsided in an intersection in neighboring Fullerton at about 12:30 a.m. by a minivan that apparently ran a red light, police said.
The impact spun around both vehicles, and one then struck another car but that driver was not hurt, police said.
The minivan driver fled the crash scene on foot and was captured a half-hour later. Police identified him as Andrew Thomas Gallo, 22, of Riverside, and said he had a suspended license because of a previous drunken driving conviction.
Preliminary results indicated Gallo's blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit, Fullerton police Lt. Kevin Hamilton said.
He could face charges including vehicular manslaughter or possibly murder, Hamilton said.
Adenhart died in surgery at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center. A 27-year-old man in the car and the driver, 20-year-old Courtney Frances Stewart of Diamond Bar, were pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Adenhart's death came shortly after he made his fourth major-league start in Wednesday night's loss to Oakland. He threw six scoreless innings. Adenhart's father had flown out from Baltimore to watch the game.
"He summoned his father the day before and he said, 'You better come here because something special's gonna happen,'" said Adenhart's agent, Scott Boras.
After the game, "he was so elated ... he felt like a major-leaguer," Boras said, weeping.
Adenhart had a 9.00 ERA in three starts with the Angels last season, but Scioscia said last month the pitcher had worked hard over the winter and arrived at spring training with a purpose.
Adenhart is survived by his parents, Jim and Janet.
"He lived his dream and was blessed to be part of an organization comprised of such warm, caring, and compassionate people," the family said in a statement issued through the team.
There was a moment of silence to remember Adenhart before several major-league games Thursday.