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Adenhart honored at Friday's Angels game

Suspect charged in fatal Fullerton crash; Wilhite remains hospitalized
April 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 22-year-old Riverside man has been charged with three counts of murder in the violent crash that killed rookie Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others. Andrew Gallo has also been charged with single counts of felony fleeing the scene of a collision involving death, driving under the influence causing injury and driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 causing injury.

There was so much excitement about the promising young pitcher, and fans are devastated that his life and career were cut short in a violent collision. There is a growing memorial in front of Angel Stadium, with notes expressing fans' sorrow.

Thursday night's game was postponed because of the death of 22-year-old Nick Adenhart, who was killed in an accident, just hours after he pitched his best game of his career.

Adenhart and three friends were on their way to a dance club early Thursday when their Mitsubishi Eclipse was broadsided in Fullerton by a minivan that allegedly ran a red light.

Adenhart, 20-year-old Courtney Francis Stewart, from Diamond Bar, and 25-year-old Henry Pearson, from Manhattan Beach, were killed after the Fullerton accident at the intersection of Orangethorpe and Lemon.

Another man in the Eclipse, 24-year-old Jon Wilhite, remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Police said Gallo, the Riverside man behind the wheel of the minivan, was driving on a suspended license because of a prior drunk driving conviction.

Adenhart pitched six scoreless innings Wednesday night against Oakland at Angel Stadium in just his fourth major league start.

The Angels organization and fans are stunned by the death of the talented pitcher.

"Being around the same age as him, it's hard to lose somebody young like that, to know that he was at the beginning of his career," said Renee Freed, an Angels fan from Garden Grove.

Gallo was booked on charges of murder, vehicular manslaughter, felony hit-and-run, drunken driving involving fatalities and causing great bodily injury. He is being held without bail at the Fullerton City Jail and is expected to be arraigned on Monday.

Gallo faces a maximum sentence of 54 years and eight months to life in prison.

The Angels played Friday night, with players wearing emblems on their jerseys in tribute to Adenhart.

"Nick was a tremendous player, but not only a tremendous player, but a tremendous person," Tony Reagins, Angels general manager.

"He impacted so many of our other players, staff members and our coaching staff in a very positive way."


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