Son of former LA Dodger one of five killed in Marine helicopter crash

"There was never any doubt from a young age that Johnny would be a pilot and his passion was to fly!" the former LA Dodger wrote about his son

Updated: June 12, 2022 - 5:33pm

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Los Angeles Dodgers player Steve Sax confirmed that his 33-year-old son was a pilot on the helicopter that crashed and killed five U.S. Marines in a training accident last week.

Capt. John J. Sax was one of two pilots on the Osprey tiltrotor during the fatal training exercise in Imperial County, California, about 50 miles from Yuma, Arizona. The cause of the crash is still being investigated. 

"It is with complete devastation that I announce that my precious son, Johnny was [one] of the five (5) US Marines that perished on Wednesday, June 8, in the Osprey Military crash near San Diego," father Steve Sax said in a press release obtained by CBSLA.

"For those of you that knew Johnny, you saw his huge smile, bright light, his love for his family, the Marines, the joy of flying airplanes and defending our country! He was my hero and the best man I know, there was no better person to defend our country," he wrote about his son.

John Sax is survived by his pregnant wife Amber and their 20-month-old daughter, according to Dodgers spokesperson Steve Brener.

Sax's father said he is proud of his son, who had always had a passion for flying.

"There was never any doubt from a young age that Johnny would be a pilot and his passion was to fly! I am so proud of the man he became and so proud to call him my son!" he wrote. "This loss will change my life forever and is a loss to not only the Marines but this world!"

Capt. Nicholas P. Losapio, 31, is the other pilot who died in the crash, along with crew members Cpl. Nathan E. Carlson, 21; Cpl. Seth D. Rasmuson, 21; and Lance Cpl. Evan A. Strickland, 19, The Associated Press reported.