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Heart disease killed 'Macho Man' Randy Savage, autopsy shows

By the CNN Wire Staff
"Macho Man" Randy Savage and his wife, Barbara, attend the premiere of the animated film "Bolt" in 2008.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage and his wife, Barbara, attend the premiere of the animated film "Bolt" in 2008.
  • Savage died after a May 20 traffic accident in Pinellas County, Florida
  • Highway Patrol: Autopsy showed heart disease was cause of death
  • Autopsy report will be included in the traffic homicide report in coming weeks

(CNN) -- A medical examiner's autopsy of former pro wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage shows he died of natural causes due to heart disease, the Florida Highway Patrol announced Thursday.

According to a Highway Patrol report after the May 20 traffic accident the day he died, the 58-year-old "may have suffered a medical event," which was confirmed by the autopsy.

The cause of death was atheriosclerotic cardiovascular disease -- a thickening of artery walls that can lead to heart attack or sudden cardiac death.

A toxicology report showed acetominophen, caffeine, dhydrocodeine, doxylamine, doxylamine metabolite(s) and hydrocodone, and a blood alcohol concentration of 0.03 grams per decaliter, Sgt. 1st Class Steve Gaskins of the Highway Patrol said in a statement. He gave no further details about the toxicology report.

Gaskins said the autopsy report will be included in the traffic homicide report, which "should be released in the next several weeks."

Savage, who lived in Seminole, Florida, lost control of his Jeep while driving on Florida State Route 694 in Pinellas County in the early morning hours of May 20. The vehicle jumped a median and "collided head-on with a tree," the Florida Highway Patrol said. He died in Largo Medical Center.


His wife, Barbara Lynn Poffo, 56, who was in the passenger seat, suffered minor injuries and was briefly hospitalized.

Savage, whose real name was Ralph Mario Poffo, was wildly popular during his WWE career in the 1980s and early '90s for his outlandish cowboy hats, shades and jackets, and for growling catchphrases like "Ooooooh Yeaahhhhh!" and "Can you dig it?" In a statement after his death, the wrestling federation called him "one of the greatest superstars of his time."

After he retired from ring, he applied his unique energy to TV commercials for Slim Jim beef jerky sticks.

CNN's Michael Martinez and Vivian Kuo contributed to this report.