Roy Halladay remembered for humanitarianism in Tampa Bay area

As the investigation into the MLB pitcher's death begins, local residents remember his generosity.

Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the fatal plane crash of former MLB star Roy Halladay Tuesday afternoon off the Gulf Coast near Pasco County.

The former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies pitching great’s plane was found upside down in shallow water near Ben Pilot Point in New Port Richey. Halladay was the only person in the two-seater, single-engine Icon A5. The plane is often described as "a jet ski with wings."

Wednesday, the wreckage from Halladay’s plane was pulled from the water and placed in a private location. The National Transportation Safety Board is taking the lead on the investigation.

Next steps include reviewing flight data from two black boxes found on the plane. Accident investigators say it could take several years to complete the investigation. A preliminary report should be released within seven to 10 days.

The NTSB is also working with the plane manufacturer to try to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. The is the second fatal crash involving the A5 this year.

Meantime, many people are talking about Halladay’s passion for others.

Halladay was known for his humanitarianism. He donated $10,000 to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for them to buy a K-9 named Doc at the beginning of last year. The yellow lab is trained to detect drugs. Halladay even signed the canine's collar when he first joined the force.

His handler says Doc represents Halladay's commitment to his community.

“He was just an honest, noble guy. I think he wanted to make the community better. One, by getting drugs off the streets, which is what we do. But also make everyone's days brighter. That's what Doc does,” said Dep. Brian Hernandez, Pasco Co. Sheriff's Office.

Halladay's love for animals and involvement in the community didn't end with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. For the volunteers at the Suncoast Animal League in Palm Harbor, the all-star athlete was best known for being an all-star foster dad to hundreds of rescue pets.

The league's director said Halladay and his wife, Brandy, would volunteer to take in nearly every pregnant dog they received to raise her and her puppies until they could be adopted out.

“There's not a lot of people who would do something like that, or is capable of doing something like that, and they did it almost every single time. You would've never known he was Roy Halladay, the baseball legend. He never brought it up, but he just made himself available,” said Rick Chaboudy, Suncoast Animal League.

Volunteers knew Halladay for his generosity, calling him Foster Dad Roy. Chaboudy said that’s how they’ll remember him.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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