The 17-year-old daughter of the Toronto Blue Jays’ first base coach died in a “terrible accident” while tubing in the U.S. this weekend.
The team announced the passing of Julia Budzinski on Sunday morning after Mark Budzinkski left the Blue Jays’ dugout early in the second game of a doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.
According to Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources spokesperson Paige Pearson, two girls were on a tube being pulled behind a boat on James River in Virginia this weekend when they fell off.
She said the driver of the boat turned around in an attempt to pick up the girls to get them out of the water.
“When the boat came to get the girls, a wave came and essentially put the boat over the victim and the propeller struck her,” Pearson told CTV News Toronto.
She said the boat driver immediately jumped into the river to rescue the girl, as did another passing boat operator.
“Once they got the girl out of the water, they rushed back for help,” she said. “She was taken to land, but was pronounced dead.”
Pearson said no foul play is suspected, and alcohol was not a factor in the incident.
“It was a terrible accident,” she said.
In a statement released by the Blue Jays on Sunday, the team said the entire organization is grieving the loss of Julia.
“I have known Bud for more than 25 years and have always admired his commitment as a dad and husband first,” said Ross Atkins, executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager of the Blue Jays.
“He is loved and well-respected by our entire clubhouse and holds a special place in all our hearts.”