Wake County

Autopsy: Runner who died in Raleigh race likely had developed a heart condition

One of two runners who collapsed during a road race in Raleigh last spring and later died likely had an undiagnosed heart problem that caused his death, according to an autopsy report.

Derrick Lee Myers, 35, of Raleigh was running in the half-marathon at the Rock’n’Roll Marathon on April 13 when he fell.

Myers was reported to be in good health before the race and experienced no problems during the event, but fell suddenly near the finish line. He was unconscious and had a weak pulse when emergency workers arrived a few minutes later. They began rescue efforts but were unable to revive him.

A report released Friday by the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said tests found no medications or drugs in Myers’ body and that he was neither dehydrated or over-hydrated. The autopsy found no symptoms of heart disease, and no evidence of any catastrophic event such as a hemorrhage or ruptured major blood vessel.

The examiner concluded that Myers had some condition, possibly something he was born with but more likely recently acquired, that made him susceptible to developing a fatal heart rhythm disturbance under the stress of sustained exertion.

Another man, Jason Schlosser, 31, of High Point, collapsed and died between miles 10 and 11 of the half-marathon. His autopsy report has not been made public.