Three months after he took his own life, doctors have finally been able to shed some light on why BMX star Dave Mirra took his own life at 41. He was found dead in Greenville, North Carolina on February 4 after shooting himself in the head. His death was ruled a suicide.
On May 24, doctors diagnosed Mirra as suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, more commonly referred to as CTE. According to an ESPN report, Mirra is the first “action sports” athlete to be diagnosed with the brain disease.
At 19, Mirra fractured his skull when he was hit by a car. The Washington Post reported that the incident occurred in Syracuse, New York when Mirra was just out of high school. He was hit by a drunk driver as he left a club. As a result, he suffered from a blood clot in his brain. Mirra continued to ride against medical advice.
Plus, in addition to the numerous concussions he suffered in the BMX world, Mirra had also ventured into the world of boxing. Famously in September 2011, Mirra lost to fellow “action sports” star Brian Deegan in a charity boxing match in Las Vegas.
Mirra is survived by his wife, Lauren, and their two daughters.