Authorities are still piecing together the details behind Dave Mirra’s heartbreaking suicide on Feb. 4, but could CTE from head trauma have caused his death? The mayor of Dave’s hometown, Allen Thomas, thinks so, comparing Dave to the late NFL star and CTE victim, Junior Seau.
It’s unknown what may have led Dave Mirra, 41, to commit suicide. However, with all the bangs, bruises and crashes Dave suffered throughout his extreme sports career, Allen Thomas, 46, the mayor of Greenville, North Carolina, thinks head trauma may have caused Dave’s tragic end.
“This is a young man – I’ll call him a young man in his early forties – that had a pretty rugged sports career,” Allen said during a press conference on Feb. 5, according to TMZ. “[He] took a lot of injuries in his career and you have to give pause and think and wonder just as we hear about brain trauma in football and other sports activities whether that played a factor.” Plus, Dave had also taken up boxing, even posting a picture of him in the ring just days before his death.
While the mayor said that he’s not absolutely certain that is the case, the mayor of Greenville drew comparisons of Dave’s death to the 2012 suicide of ex-NFL star Junior Seau. Junior, a 12-time Pro Bowl athlete and NFL defensive Player of the Year in 1992, was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his chest. The autopsy of Junior’s brain revealed definite signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative disease related to severe head trauma.
“Hopefully, this is something we can solve at some point,” Allen said at the end. Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman spoke said they are still conducting their investigation, according to WITN. Mark said that Dave had been “struggling” with depression, but he didn’t have any specifics at the time.
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It is obvious is that Dave’s death has left his friends utterly heartbroken. When news of Dave’s suicide broke, his fellow X-games legends Tony Hawk, Carey Hart and more all mourned the loss. Lupe Fiasco even called him a “BMX Legend” and a genius. Considering all the breathtaking stunts Dave pulled off during his career, it’s easy to see why.
Dave’s close friend, TJ Lavin, 39, made sure to raise awareness of suicide prevention while memorializing his friend. In a heartfelt message on Instagram, TJ not only called Dave “one of the funniest people you could ever know,” he also said “Please know, if you’re even thinking about doing something like this – that is NOT the solution, EVER.”
Our thoughts continue to go out to all of Dave’s friends, family and loved ones during this tragedy.