Jim Leyritz charged with DUI manslaughter
Former Yankees World Series hero Jim Leyritz was arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter and DUI property damage after a car crash early Friday morning in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that killed 30-year-old Fredia Ann Veitch.
Leyritz posted $11,000 bond and was released from Broward County Jail Friday afternoon, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
The arrest report shows that the crash occurred at the intersection of Southwest Second Street and Seventh Avenue in Fort Lauderdale's Himmarshee bar district at 3:19 a.m. Witnesses told police that Leyritz ran a red light and crashed into Veitch's 2000 Mitsubishi Montero. He was driving a red 2006 Ford Expedition.
The Miami Herald reported that Veitch, who is survived by a husband and two children, was on her way home from work at the Original Steakhouse in Fort Lauderdale. According to investigators, Veitch's car flipped over after the crash and she was ejected. She was pronounced dead at Broward General Medical Center.
Leyritz, who is best known for his game-tying home run in Game 4 of the 1996 World Series, turned 44 Thursday. The arrest report said the first officer on the scene observed that Leyritz had "red, watery eyes, flushed face and the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person."
Officer Craig Buttery asked Leyritz to perform several roadside exercises, which he failed. Leyritz refused to submit to breath testing for alcohol, even after being advised of implied consent warnings, according to the arrest report.
Once Buttery was informed that Veitch had died, he requested that Leyritz submit to a mandatory blood test. Leyritz still refused, but was told that police would draw blood above his refusal. Investigators are awaiting results of blood alcohol tests, Fort Lauderdale police spokeswoman Det. Kathy Collins told The Associated Press.
Leyritz signed with the Yankees in 1985. He made his major-league debut in 1990 and remained with the Yankees through 1996. He played four more major-league seasons with the Angels, Rangers, Red Sox, Padres, Dodgers and another stint with the Yankees. He played primarily catcher, with significant time at first base, third base and designated hitter, and occasional work in the outfield. He had a career batting average of .264, with a career high of 64 RBIs and 58 runs scored in 1997.
Leyritz is better remembered for his postseason success. Although his postseason batting average was just .213, he hit eight homers and knocked in 20 runs in 28 games.
In 2007, Leyritz traveled regularly with the Yankees as a reporter and commentator for ESPN Radio 1050 and worked as an analyst for MLB.com.