Legendary midnight infomercial pitchman Billy Mays endeared his way into our insomniac hearts whether we wanted him there or not. You couldn’t help but love him. He was like a charismatic teddy bear who was super excited about getting the ketchup stains out of your Sunday slacks. A standup guy. A little overzealous when it came to OxiClean, maybe, but no big deal. We all have our quirks.
So we were all understandably heartbroken when he died in June 2009. According to Travel Weekly, the home shopping host died the day after he hit his head on the overhead compartment during a rough landing when the plane he was on blew out a tire on the runway. He reportedly told his wife Deborah that he was feeling unwell before he went to sleep that night after the flight. Deborah found him dead when she woke up Sunday morning. But did this freak accident have something to do with his death? Let’s take a look at what Billy Mays’ autopsy report said and see.
Billy Mays' autopsy report said his death had nothing to do with the head injury
The police said that any links between Mays’ death and the injury he sustained on the flight “would purely be speculation,” according to ABC News. And his autopsy report confirmed that the bump on the head from that rough touchdown was merely coincidental and had nothing to do with his death. The autopsy also revealed why Mays was always up all night and so ebullient about stain remover.
CNN reports that the medical examiner found cocaine in Mays’ system and that his use of the drug contributed to the heart disease that ultimately took his life. The low levels of the drug present in his system at the time of his death led Dr. Leszek Chrostowski, who performed the examination, to deduce that he had used it “in the few days prior to death but not immediately prior to death.”
But Mays’ second favorite white powder wasn’t the only drug that turned up in his autopsy. The medical examiner also found low levels of ethyl alcohol, aka a few cold ones, as well as a mini pharmacy of prescription drugs. He had been taking the narcotics oxycodone, hydrocodone, and tramadol, as well as the anxiety meds Xanax and Valium. Billy Mays’ dishes, counters, and trousers may have been squeaky clean, but there was no such detergent to wipe away the damage those drugs did to his heart.
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