Surf Champ Andy Irons’ Autopsy Inconclusive
Surf champion Andy Irons died unexpectedly this week, but officials have yet to conclude how he died.
Foul play and trauma have been ruled out as causes of death, but lab results will be needed to conclude why he died in an airport hotel room in Texas. The tests could take 60 to 90 days to complete.
The 32-year-old Kauai surfer was found dead Tuesday morning at the Grand Hyatt Hotel at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. He was on his way home from Puerto Rico, where he was to compete in the 2010 Rip Curl Pro Search. He withdrew from the World Championship Tour competition because he reportedly was suffering from dengue fever.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office yesterday said the death was being investigated as a possible overdose because authorities found what they believe was methadone inside a prescription vial for another medication on the nightstand in Irons' room. Other medications were also found on the nightstand.
Mike Floyd, the medical examiner's chief forensic death investigator, said today that no cause of death can be determined until the tests are finished.
"Just because we find things at the scene doesn't mean they are related to the death," he said. "When the lab tests come back, we will have the answers."
The surfer's father, Phil Irons, said the release of information about drugs found his son's hotel room is tarnishing the surfer's reputation.
He said his son was suffering from dengue fever.
"I can't explain his condition," the elder Irons said by telephone from Dallas. "I just know it was bad enough that he passed away. The reasons behind it will be determined."
Phil Irons said he is angry that his ailing son was allowed to leave Puerto Rico on Sunday and even angrier that he was not allowed to board a flight from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Hawaii on Monday. The elder Irons said someone at the airport should have given his son medical attention or called relatives.
"When he went to get on the plane, he was very ill and they wouldn't let him stay on the plane," Phil Irons said. "Instead of calling me or his wife or putting him in a hospital, they sent him off and he was by himself and he ends up going to a hotel and dying."
The surfer claimed the world championship in 2002, '03 and '04, and was a four-time winner of the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. His wife, Lyndie, is expecting the couple's first child in December.
In Puerto Rico today, Hawaii surfers Roy Powers and Dusty Payne were among those participating in a paddle-out memorial in Porta del Sol. Surfers raised their arms in tribute and scattered bouquets of flowers into the ocean.