Coroner cites heart disease in Lay’s death |

Coroner cites heart disease in Lay’s death

Paul ShockleyGrand Junction correspondent

GRAND JUNCTION – Heart disease killed Enron founder Ken Lay, who collapsed at an Old Snowmass home shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday.Mesa County coroner Dr. Robert Kurtzman said Lay died as a result of severe coronary artery disease.”There’s evidence he’d had heart attacks in the past,” said Kurtzman, who declined to comment further on that question in order to review data from the autopsy.”There’s no evidence of foul play … it looks like a very straightforward case.”A toxicology report will come later, Kurtzman said. Lay had no other “significant” pre-existing medical conditions.”It looked like he took care of himself very well.”Kurtzman said he received a phone call Wednesday morning from the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office, which asked him to perform a postmortem examination on Lay. Pitkin County Coroner Dr. Steve Ayers is out of town.By afternoon, Lay’s body was en route to Farnum-Holt funeral home in Glenwood Springs.Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies and a Basalt ambulance were called to the Old Snowmass home Lay was renting at 1:41 a.m. for a medical emergency, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.Lay was transported to Aspen Valley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:11 a.m. – “His heart simply gave out,” said Steve Wende, Lay’s pastor at Houston’s First United Methodist Church. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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