Dave Mirra died in February 2016 after taking his own life in North Carolina. The BMX rider’s suicide was reported as new in 2019 after ABC affiliates began publishing their original stories on the tragedy. The articles were published on February 4, 2019, exactly three years after Mirra’s passing.
Mirra was found dead inside of his truck after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Greenville, North Carolina.
If you, or anyone you know, is suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-TALK.
During his career, Mirra was one of the most decorated BMX riders in the history of the X Games. At the time of his retirement in 2016, Mirra had won the 24 medals at the games. In retirement, Mirra turned his hand to rally car driving and boxing. Mirra’s final Instagram post was a boxing photo:
In the aftermath of Mirra’s death, it was widely reported that he had suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Speaking to ESPN, Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati of the University of Toronto said that Mirra’s brain was indistinguishable from the brains of football and hockey players who had been diagnosed with CTE. Dr. Hazrati said, “I couldn’t tell the difference. The trauma itself defines the disease, not how you got the trauma.” A lengthy Washington Post feature on Mirra’s life discussed the various injuries he suffered during his life, including a fractured skull at 19 when he was hit by a drunk driver in Syracuse, New York.
Mirra’s widow, Lauren Mirra, told ESPN Magazine about what the legendary rider was like in the time leading up to his death. She said, “I started to notice changes in his mood. And then it quickly started to get worse. He wasn’t able to be present in any situation or conversation, so it was hard to be in a relationship with him to any degree. He was lost. I looked straight through him on a few occasions. And I was like, ‘Where are you? Where are you? What is wrong?’ This is the beginning of bringing awareness. It would be amazing if this is something we can detect in life one day. If we can detect it, prevent it, stop it, let’s do all of the above.”
Bizarrely, many on Twitter did not appear to know that Mirra passed away in 2016: