St. Louis Cardinals prospect Oscar Taveras was driving drunk before the fatal car accident that killed him and his girlfriend in the Dominican Republic in October, according to a report. Taveras’ blood-alcohol level was .287 at the time of the crash, nearly six times the nation’s legal limit of .05, authorities said Wednesday.
Taveras was “legally intoxicated when he crashed,” said Dominican Republic Attorney General’s office spokesperson Tessie Sanchez, according to the Associated Press. The 22-year-old rookie outfielder lost control of his car on a Dominican Republic highway and crashed into a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities said Taveras was driving “very, very fast” at the time of the fatal crash, TMZ Sports reports.
As of Wednesday night, neither Taveras’ family nor Cardinals officials had seen an official toxicology report, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak addressed the reports on Taveras’ .287 BAC in a statement.
“We have seen media reports regarding Oscar Taveras that have come out this afternoon, but have yet to receive official notification from the Dominican Republic," Mozeliak said. “Until we have that opportunity to review the official report, we cannot confirm details.”
He added: “While we are still working to obtain the facts, it won’t change the fact that this is a terrible tragedy. We have an obligation to use this as an opportunity to educate our players that they must take responsibility for themselves both on and off the field."
The Cardinals banned alcohol from their locker room for both home and away games after the 2007 drunk-driving death of pitcher Josh Hancock, the AP notes. Hancock died at age 29 after crashing his Ford Explorer into a tow truck.