Former Major League Baseball player José Castillo and free agent Luis Valbuena were killed in a car crash that occurred in Venezuela.
“We are saddened by the tragic news that Luis Valbuena and former major leaguer José Castillo have died in a car accident,” the MLB official Twitter account shared on Thursday, December 6.
El Emergente reported that the athletes and their Cardenales de Lara teammate Carlos Rivero were driving to the team’s home base in Barquisimeto after a game in Caracas on Thursday night. Their car collided with a boulder on the highway en route, according to The Orange County Register.
Rivero and the driver of the car survived the accident, while Valbuena, 33, and Castillo, 37, were reportedly ejected.
According to Beisbol Play, a preliminary report indicated that the rock was placed in the road “to perpetrate highway robberies,” which happen frequently in Venezuela.
Castillo played in the MLB from 2004 to 2008, suiting up for the Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Meanwhile, Valbuena was a member of the league for 11 seasons, playing for the Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs and Astros.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Angel Luis Valbuena and former MLB infielder José Castillo,” the Angels Twitter account wrote on Friday, December 7. “Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones during this time of grief.”
Valbuena celebrated his birthday on November 30. The baseball star expressed his gratitude for life and his desire to keep doing what he loved in an Instagram post at the time.
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