Andy Irons’ cause of death determined

From Times wire reports

Surfing champion Andy Irons, who died at the age of 32 in a Dallas hotel room in November, had a heart attack caused by the hardening of his coronary arteries, his family said in a press release.

Drugs contributed to the death, a Texas medical examiner determined.

Irons had withdrawn from an event in 2010 amid concerns that he and others on the tour contracted dengue fever. He was returning home to Hawaii when he was found dead in an airport hotel while on a layover in Dallas.

The official toxicology report and autopsy from the Tarrant County medical examiner notes a second cause of death as “acute mixed drug ingestion.”

However, forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent Di Maio, who reviewed the report for the family, said he believes most of the the drugs found in Irons’ system (Xanax and Methadone) were at therapeutic levels. Benzoylecgonine, which is often tested for when conducting cocaine urinalysis, was also found in his system. A toxicologist whom the family consulted said the levels of Benzoylecgonine were “consistent with the use of cocaine at about 30 hours prior to his death.”


The report also shows trace amounts of methamphetamine in Irons’ system. His wife says she insists the surfing champ did not use methamphetamine, “so it is likely the substance was present in the cocaine he ingested.”

According to the family, the manner of death is labeled natural.