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Medical examiner: Randy "Macho Man" Savage died of heart disease

LARGO — Authorities have determined that former wrestling star Randy "Macho Man" Savage died of heart disease.

Savage, 58, whose real name was Randy Poffo, became unresponsive while driving his Jeep Wrangler in Seminole on May 20.

After crossing a median on Park Boulevard, the Jeep jumped a curb and crashed head-on into a tree. Savage was taken to Largo Medical Center and pronounced dead.

His wife, Barbara Poffo, a passenger in the Jeep, suffered minor injuries. Both were wearing seat belts, authorities said.

An autopsy by the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office revealed that Savage had an enlarged heart with severe atherosclerosis of his coronary arteries and more than 90 percent blockage. The cause of death was determined to be atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, or heart disease. The manner of death was determined to be natural.

Savage may not have known that he had heart disease, said Bill Pellan, director of investigations for the Medical Examiner's Office. There was no evidence that he was taking heart medication.

The four-page autopsy report showed he suffered only minor scrapes and bruising from the crash. But it also documented markings on the 255-pound, 6-foot-2 former wrestler's body that spoke of a life in the ring: a trail of tiny scars from his scalp and forehead to his chest, arms and legs. The report also noted "mildly deformed" knuckles.

As is routine, the Medical Examiner's Office tested Savage for evidence of drugs or alcohol. At the time of his death, he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.031, below the level at which the law presumes that someone is impaired.

Savage also had the painkiller hydrocodone in his blood. Pellan said Savage had a prescription for it and that the amount found in his blood was a "therapeutic level" that did not suggest abuse.

Curtis Krueger can be reached at ckrueger@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8232.

Medical examiner: Randy "Macho Man" Savage died of heart disease 06/30/11 [Last modified: Thursday, June 30, 2011 9:56pm]
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