PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Pete Alonso’s trip to Spring Training turned harrowing on Sunday when he was involved in what he called a “brutal car accident” that “was a really close experience to death,” as the Mets first baseman described it. Alonso emerged from the incident unscathed, however, as did the others involved.
Alonso said another driver ran a red light at an intersection in Tampa and “T-boned” his white Ford pickup truck, which flipped over three times before coming to a rest on its side. Stuck upside down in the driver’s seat, Alonso kicked out the front windshield so that he could escape while his wife, who had been driving a different vehicle behind him, called the authorities.
“I just feel really blessed to be here -- not just alive, but healthy as well,” Alonso said. “Anything can happen at any given moment. Anything can get derailed at any single time. One thing, I was coming here to work, coming here to Spring Training, and then the next thing I know, I’m kicking my windshield in, trying to get out of a flipped-over car. So I’m just really blessed to be here, and thankful nothing’s wrong.”
Alonso lauded his wife’s role in the incident, calling her a “trouper” for rushing out of her own car, calling the authorities, flagging down a passersby for help and corralling the couple’s dogs, all while Alonso attempted to kick his way out of the vehicle. He also thanked Ford “for having great engineering.”
“It’s truly amazing how I’m here,” Alonso said. “I’m so fortunate that everyone’s OK. I’m just really happy that my wife sprung into action when she did. She was a trouper yesterday. A lot of emotional toll, but I’m here, happy and healthy.”
In an Instagram post recounting the scene, Haley Alonso said that the driver who ran a red light was “going at an extremely fast rate and hit Pete’s truck.” When the crash occurred, Alonso yelled to her that he was going to kick his way out of the vehicle, before emerging with only “a single scratch on his arm.” All around him, car parts were strewn across the two-lane highway.
“It’s a miracle that he’s safe after this horrifying of an accident,” Haley Alonso wrote. “I thought I watched my husband die in front of me and I will never forget that feeling. This could’ve easily unfolded much differently and that’s what is so scary. Life can be taken from us in an instant.”
As he recounted the incident in front of his locker at Mets camp, Alonso grew emotional at points, particularly when describing the perspective it has given him.
“When I was upside down, it was a weird moment, a very scary moment,” he said. “For me, I’m just happy to be healthy, and I’m just happy that everything’s OK. Everybody’s healthy, everyone’s good, so that’s the only thing. And I’m happy to see everybody. … You really don’t know all the people in your life. You really don’t know how important everybody is.”
Upon arriving at camp, Alonso tested his fitness with a series of ground balls and a game of catch, all with no ill effects. He intends to join his teammates for the second full day of workouts at Clover Park on Tuesday.
“For me, every day is blessed,” Alonso said. “I’m just so happy. Every day is a gift. Man, today is really special for me. I just had a blast out there today doing work, seeing everybody. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier showing up to Spring Training.”