Artery abnormality cited in Pa. runner's death

Updated: May 6, 2013, 10:00 PM ET
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Authorities in western Pennsylvania say a runner who collapsed and died during the half-marathon competition of the Pittsburgh Marathon had an inherited abnormality of the coronary artery system.

The Allegheny County medical examiner's office said an autopsy Monday on the body of 23-year-old Kyle Johnson of Pittsburgh revealed the abnormality in the system that supplies oxygen to the muscles of the heart.

Dr. Karl Williams said such defects are rare but are associated with sudden unexplained deaths, such as the 1988 death of former NBA star Pete Maravich.

Public safety officials said the runner collapsed near paramedics at the 12-mile mark of Sunday's race and was later pronounced dead at UPMC Marcy.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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