KANSAS CITY, Mo. — New information surrounding the fatal crash that claimed the life of Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura appears to disprove any allegations that the 25-year-old was assaulted, robbed then left to die after Sunday’s crash.
Ventura was the only person in the car at the time. He was reportedly not wearing a seat belt.
In addition to his claim, Rojas tweeted a graphic photo from the scene of the crash that shows a bracelet and watch on Ventura’s body following the impact. According to The Star, Rojas obtained the image from a forensic scientist.
Rojas tells The Star that Ventura’s family has received jewelry and other personal items from the crash scene and no longer believe the 25-year-old was robbed.
The Star says Ventura’s World Series championship ring is still unaccounted for, but investigators are not sure if he was wearing it or if it was with him when the crash occurred.
The allegations that the 25-year-old was assaulted and robbed after the crash began with Dominican journalist Euri Cabral. Cabral’s claims, which were published on the Spanish-language site Ensegundos, then gained traction when MLB Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez responded on Twitter.
“Martinez’s claims were completely false,” Rojas told The Star. “Yordano died on impact. No one touched his belongings.”
Ventura’s death was the first death of an active player in Royals franchise history.
He was laid to rest Tuesday surrounded by family, friends and teammates. His life will be honored at FanFest with a special memorial. The special tribute will feature a pitcher’s mound in the center with a framed Ventura game-worn jersey, video boards showing highlights and a signature wall which fans can sign.
Each day of FanFest will begin with a moment of silence to honor Ventura, followed by tributes on the main stage throughout the day.
Fans are encouraged to visit the memorial as this two-day space will serve as the main tribute to the late Royals pitcher. Whether or not to hold this year’s fan gathering wasn’t a decision that’s been taken lightly. One Royals executive told FOX 4 News there was a moment where the team wondered if canceling FanFest might be appropriate, in the light of Ventura’s death.
“The physical tribute of his life at FanFest is the big thing,” Toby Cook, Royals Vice-President for publicity, told FOX 4 News on Wednesday.
Ventura, born in the Dominican Republic, made his MLB debut on Sept. 17, 2013 against the Indians. He tallied 39 career wins (including playoffs), and had the most innings pitched for the Royals since 2013.