- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 9, 2009

— Los Angeles Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart and two other people were killed Thursday when a minivan ran a red light and struck their sports car.

Adenhart, 22, died after undergoing surgery, University of California, Irvine Medical Center spokesman John Murray said.

A fourth person remained hospitalized in critical condition.

The Angels confirmed Adenhart's death in a statement and said no other members of the Angels organization were involved in the accident.

“The Angels family has suffered a tremendous loss today. We are deeply saddened and shocked by this tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nick's family, friends' loved ones and fans,” general manager Tony Reagins said.

The team said Adenhart was 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.

“The Angels were his extended family. Thanks to all of Nick's loyal supporters and fans throughout his career. He will always be in everyone's hearts forever.”

Adenhart, of Silver Spring, Md., was the Angels' No. 3 starter. He threw six scoreless innings in Wednesday night's loss to Oakland in his fourth major-league start and first of the season.

Adenhart and three other people were in a silver Mitsubishi that was struck shortly before 12:30 a.m. by a minivan that ran a red light and also hit another vehicle, police said.

The sports car struck a light pole, killing three people inside.

Police Lt. Craig Brower said the minivan driver fled the crash scene and was captured a short time later. The driver was arrested and booked for investigation of felony hit-and-run.

Adenhart, a right-hander, earned a spot in the starting rotation on an injury-plagued Angels staff by impressing manager Mike Scioscia late in spring training.

The pitcher made his major league debut May 1 of last year, also against Oakland. He made two other starts, getting his only decision in a victory over the Chicago White Sox on May 12. He was 37-28 in the minor leagues from 2005-08, including 9-13 last year at Triple-A Salt Lake.

The Minnesota Twins held moment of silence before their game against the Seattle Mariners. Also, there was to be a moment of silence before the start of the Texas Rangers' home game against the Cleveland Indians.

The Angels made Adenhart their 14th round pick in 2004 out of Williamsport High School in Gaithersburg. He had entered his senior season as one of the top prospects in the country but suffered an elbow injury that neccessitated Tommy John surgery. The Angels signed him for a $710,000 bonus.

When he came back from surgery, he pitched in 13 minor league games in 2005. He quickly worked his way through the Angels' minor league system, making it to Class AA in 2007, his third year, and then to Class AAA and the major leagues the following season.

He entered this season ranked by Baseball America as the No. 68 prospect in all of baseball.

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