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Former major league pitcher Tyson Brummett killed in Utah plane crash

Witnesses told authorities they saw the plane begin to turn, then spiral downward in the Wasatch Mountains south of Salt Lake City.

Tyson Brummett, a former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher, died Friday morning when a plane he was piloting crashed in Utah.

Brummett, 35, was piloting a Cessna 172 when it crashed in the Wasatch Mountains south of Salt Lake City, according to the Utah County Sheriff's Office

All four people on board were killed including Brummett, his 35-year-old friend Alex Blackhurst Ruegner, and Ruegner's aunt and uncle, Elaine and Douglas Blackhurst. 

Witnesses told authorities they saw the plane begin to turn, then spiral downward. The plane crashed near Box Elder Peak in American Fork Canyon, the sheriff's office said. 

The Phillies drafted Brummett in 2007 out of UCLA and he made one major league appearance in 2012. He would later pitch in the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system in 2013 and for the Los Angeles Dodgers' Class AA team in 2014. He also spent the 2011 and 2012 off seasons pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League.  

Cody Decker, one of Brummett's former UCLA teammates, described him as an incredible baseball player, an unbelievable teammate and an even better person. 

Credit: AP
Venezuela's starting pitcher Tyson Brummett throws in the first inning against against Dominican Republic at a Caribbean Series baseball game at Quisqueya stadium in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Friday Feb. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

"I am proud to have even known him, let alone call him a friend. He was special," Decker tweeted

UCLA Baseball Head Coach John Savage said "Tyson was about team and being a Bruin." 

NBC Sports Philadelphia noted that Brummett is the third former Phillies pitcher since 2006 to die while flying a plane. Roy Halladay crashed into the Gulf of Mexico in Nov. 2017, and Cory Lidle flew into an apartment complex on New York's Upper East Side in Oct. 2006. Earlier this year, the NTSB issued its final report on Halladay's crash. 

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The NTSB said that it would be investigating Brummett's crash.