MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas — A Houston Astros pitching prospect was killed early Tuesday after crashing into a big rig in southwest Montgomery County.
Dustin Kellogg was driving his pickup northbound on FM 1314 at Old Houston Road when he crossed several lanes of traffic and crashed head-on into an 18-wheeler. It happened around 1:15 a.m.
News of Kellogg's death spread quickly through the community.
"It just broke my heart, just a wonderful young man," said Pastor Mark Grimes from the Caney Creek Cowboy Church. "Loved the lord, full of life, loved the Cowboy Church and the culture and was just an athlete all around."
Kellogg, 18, graduated in May from Caney Creek High School in the Conroe ISD.
The Houston Astros selected him in the 34th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in June 2011. Kellogg, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound right-handed pitcher, was the 1,030th overall selection.
"I can bring them a right-handed arm that can throw hard as hell," Kellogg told the Chronicle after the draft. "It’s like a dream come true. You never expect to go to your hometown team. When you’re in Little League, you always dream of playing for your hometown team. I’ve always wanted to play for the Astros."
Kellogg had played a few games with the Astros Gulf Coast minor league team.
"We are deeply saddened by the news of Dustin’s passing. Although he had only been an Astros player for a short time, we share the pain of his family," the Astros said in a statement. "Our prayers go out to Dustin’s loved ones."
"This is a very sad day for all of us," said Astros Assistant General Manager/Scouting Director Bobby Heck. "Dustin was a Texas kid, and he made his intentions very clear at our pre-draft workout that he wanted to pitch for his hometown Houston Astros. He was a great kid with high energy and a lot of confidence, and performed well for us after signing. This is a huge loss for everyone that knew him."
Friends say baseball wasn't Kellogg's only passion. He loved bullfighting.
"Fought bulls in our arena and we told him, ‘Hey you gotta watch out fighting those bulls because you got this contract playing baseball also, so don’t get hurt,’" Grimes said. "But he was an athlete."
The big rig driver was not injured in the crash.
Oil and several hundred gallons of diesel fuel spilled onto FM 1314 after the collision, forcing authorities to close the road for several hours.
The road was reopened around 6: 30 a.m. after HazMat and emergency crews cleared the scene.