Jose Fernandez: Toxicology Reports Finds High Level of Alcohol, Cocaine in Late Pitcher’s System

According to autopsy and toxicology reports, Jose Fernandez had cocaine in his system and was drunk when he died in a boating accident in September.

Fernandez – who was an ace pitcher for the Miami Marlins – and two others were killed when Fernandez’s boat slammed into the rock jetty at Government Cut in Miami. The crash occurred around 3 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25. Fernandez was 24 when he died.

The boat crashed into the rock jetty with so much force that a Miami Beach Police officer heard the accident occur from land. The officer called fire rescue at about 3:20 a.m. Rescue divers entered the water near the wreck shortly after and recovered the bodies of all three men by 4 a.m.

Each of the deaths was due to blunt force trauma to the head and body from the crash.

At the time of his death, Fernandez had a blood alcohol content of nearly twice the legal limit at 0.147.

Fernandez’s friends Emilio Jesus Macias and Eduardo Rivero were also killed in the crash. The toxicology report showed that neither Macias nor Rivero had blood alcohol content higher than 0.08. Cocaine was detected in Rivero’s system.

The city of Miami and the baseball world were shocked at the news of Fernandez death. The image of Fernandez’s capsized boat on top of the jetty gave a glimpse into the pitcher’s last moments before the tragic accident that took his life.

It is unclear who was driving the boat; however Ralph Fernandez, Jose Fernandez’s family lawyer, says that there is evidence Fernandez was not driving at the time of the accident.

Authorities say they have interviewed a reliable witness who says he was on the phone with Fernandez right before the crash and that Fernandez was giving directions to another person who was driving the boat.

A search warrant affidavit released by the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office showed that a strong alcohol odor was detected when the bodies of Fernandez, Macias and Rivero were recovered and that investigators found evidence the boat was traveling at a very high speed at the time of the collision.

According to USA Today, a high-ranking MLB official said that Fernandez never tested positive for cocaine in the league’s drug testing program and that he was not in any type of drug or alcohol treatment program.

Baseball Reacts to Fernandez Death

Fernandez’s death rocked the baseball community as players, managers and fans reacted to loss of one the game’s brightest young stars.

According to USA Today, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said that although the facts were unfortunate, “it doesn’t alter the fact he was a great, great player, a good young man, and he will be sorely missed in Miami.”

Marlin’s outfielder and Fernandez’s teammate Christian Yelich reacted to the news of his passing in a heartfelt Instagram post last month.

“Your loss hit us all hard and I’m going to miss you buddy,” Yelich said in his post. “The clubhouse or the team won’t be the same without you but you’ll always be with us. I know I’ll see you again someday. Love you man.”

Other baseball stars such as Bryce Harper also took to social media to express their condolences.

“Absolutely crushed and shocked at the news about Jo-Fez,” Harper said on Twitter. “My thought and prayers go out to his family, friends and the Marlins org!”

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