Minor Leaguer Involved in Fatal Accident:
Posted By: Tom BraswellVERO BEACH, Fla. - Los Angeles Dodgers minor league pitcher Orlando Rodriguez was involved in a traffic accident late Thursday in which a North Palm Beach man was killed.
Rodriguez, a 25-year-old left-hander, has not been charged in the accident, but the investigation is ongoing, law enforcement officials said. They added alcohol was not a factor.
Rodriguez was driving south on Interstate 95 in Martin County, approximately 46 miles south of Vero Beach, where the Dodgers train, when he lost control of his 2001 Ford pickup truck in wet conditions.
Rodriguez entered the grass median separating the six-lane highway and spun counterclockwise before entering the northbound lanes and striking the driver's side of 51-year-old Bruce Hermesch's 1994 Toyota. The collision caused Hermesch's car to flip, and he was declared dead at the scene, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Rodriguez suffered minor injuries and was taken to Martin Memorial Hospital in Stuart, Fla. He was later released, and returned to Vero Beach with Dodgers player development director Terry Collins.
Dodgers spokesperson Josh Rawitch said Rodriguez was traveling to Miami to catch a flight to Arizona to be with his wife, who was in labor.
Rodriguez, a native of the Dominican Republic, is entering his sixth year of professional baseball. He spent parts of 2005 in Vero Beach, playing for both the Single-A Dodgers and Gulf Coast League team, Double-A Jacksonville and finished the year at Triple-A Las Vegas. He went 1-0 in 26 appearances, mainly as a reliever.
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