Is the fate of Andy Irons’ legacy written on a toxicology report?
HALEIWA—Since the passing of surfing icon Andy Irons in November, there has been a continued wave of support from fans, friends, and the surfing community for the young family he left behind. An account was created by “Friends of Andy Irons” for people to drop off a check at any First Hawaiian Bank branch. Despite the unquestionable support shown in remembrance of the surfer’s life, Irons’ family is seeking to silence questions about his untimely death.
Irons, a three-time Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) world champion, died on November 2 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on a layover heading home to his to Kauai from Puerto Rico. Irons was in Puerto Rico to compete in an ASP contest, but declined to enter his heat, saying that he was too ill to surf.
At the time of her husband’s death, his wife Lyndie was pregnant with their first child, and was only approximately one month from their first son’s due date. Andy Axel Irons was born healthy on Kauai on December 8, 2010.
Immediately after the surf icon’s death, the Irons family publicly stated that he died from side effects of dengue fever. However, the police report regarding Irons’ death said that prescription bottles of Xanex and Ambien were found in his hotel room. The prescription drug bottles, combined with the constant rumor of heavy drug use throughout Irons’ career, fueled speculation that the champion surfer’s death was drug related.
In the days following the tragic news, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported that it was being investigated as a possible overdose after investigators found the pain reliever methadone, which is also used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in opiate addicts, inside one of the prescription drug bottles.
The Irons family publicly denied the possibly of a drug-related death, and continued to cite dengue fever as the cause.
Last month, Andy Irons’ widow Lyndie temporarily stopped the release of the toxicology report regarding her husband’s death, by filing for a temporary injunction in a Texas court asking to delay the results from the Tarrant Country Medical Examiner’s Office from being released to the public for six months.
Judge Melody Wilkinson approved the December 21 petition, ordering that the results not be made public until May 20, 2011, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
At the time of Irons’ death, it was estimated that it would take 60 to 90 days for the results to released to the public.
The petition states that “Due to his [Andy Irons’] celebrity status, his death has been reported by various news media outlets with suggestions and innuendo of drug use.”
The petition also states that by delaying the report’s release, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could complete research into Irons’ death and make the report more accurate.
In the petition, Irons’ wife explains that she and her newborn son are financially dependent on the financial well-being of a company established “by the celebrity of Andy Irons.”
The petition states: “Based upon ‘leaks’ that have already occurred within the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office and the press reaction to those leaks, the branding of Andy Irons’ company will be immediately, irreparably, and severely tarnished if the official autopsy report is released at this time, when the coverage of this event by the press is at a frenzy.”