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Thursday, Jul 27, 2017
Local News

'Macho Man' autopsy results don't reveal cause of death

An autopsy on former professional wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage did not determine a cause of death, said Bill Pellan, director of investigations for the Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner's office. Savage, whose real name was Randy Poffo, was driving a 2009 Jeep Wrangler west on Park Boulevard, just west of 113th Street in Seminole, when he lost control of the vehicle about 9:25 a.m. Friday, the Florida Highway Patrol said. The Wrangler went over the median, across the eastbound lanes and hopped a curb before crashing head-on into a tree. Savage, 58, was taken to Largo Medical Center, where he died, according to the patrol report. His wife, Barbara Poffo, 56, was a passenger and had minor injuries. The patrol said Savage "may have suffered a medical event."
Pellan said the autopsy, which was done during the weekend, "did not reveal any extensive trauma to him." The medical examiner's office is awaiting the results of histology and toxicology tests, Pellan said. Those take four to six weeks. The toxicology tests, Pellan said, look for substances in the system. The histology test looks at the tissue microscopically for disease. The tests, he said, are "typical when someone is operating motor vehicle and leaves the roadway for no reason and impact something or someone. We have to go through everything thoroughly to see if there is an explanation as to why that occurred and if there (are) any other contributing factors; we have to rule that out." The tests, he said, are also to "make sure when someone dies, sometimes people will make allegations that they may have had this or may have had that in their system. This will answer those questions." Pellan added that no such allegations have been made in this case. Savage's pro wrestling career spanned more than two decades. His raspy voice, including his signature "Oh, yeah," was well-known to wrestling fans and those who saw his commercials for Slim Jim beef jerky. Savage strutted in sunglasses and gaudy costumes cut to show off his muscles and frame his championship belts. "Only one man can be the champion," he once said. "Everyone else is potential challengers." He also was known for his charity work, including appearances at an annual Christmas concert for underprivileged children in Tampa. haltman@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7629
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