Former Major League Baseball players Luis Valbuena and José Castillo Rondón were killed in a car accident in Venezuela Thursday night, which was confirmed by Venezuelan baseball team Cardenales de Lara in a tweet. They were 33 and 37, respectively.
The crash occurred after Valbuena and Castillo had left the University Stadium at Caracas following playing a winter game in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. The players were on their way to the city of Barquisimeto for another game Friday.
According to ESPN, Venezuelan authorities said that the car went to the opposite side of the road while trying to avoid a sliding rock.
Carlos Rivero, another former MLB player and current Venezuelan league athlete, was also involved in the accident but survived. The car was driven by Rivero’s chauffeur, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“We are saddened by the tragic news that Luis Valbuena and former major leaguer José Castillo have died in a car accident,” MLB’s official account said in a tweet.
Valbuena was a third baseman and free agent infielder who played in the MLB for 11 seasons, including for the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and most recently, the Los Angeles Angels. Castillo played in the majors from 2004 to 2008 and played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, and Houston Astros.