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Officials release cause of death for former Grand Valley State University quarterback

The lasting image of the late GVSU QB Cullen Finnerty (photo courtesy Grand Valley State University)
The lasting image of the late GVSU QB Cullen Finnerty (photo courtesy Grand Valley State University)

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (WTVB) - Grand Valley State University football quarterback Cullen Finnerty led the school’s team to three national Division-2 Championships, but an autopsy  shows that the pounding he took on the gridiron contributed to his death. Finnerty’s body was found in the woods some distance from the spot where he was to be picked up after a day of fishing this May. Pathologists say he suffered from Oxycondon Toxicity and CTE, a progressive degeneration of the brain found in former athletes. Finnerty also played semi-pro football after he left college.

Investigators believe that in Finnerty’s case, the drugs and the brain damage probably left him filled with anxiety and disorientation when family did not meet him as planned. They believe in this state he inhaled his own vomit and died.  He was only 30.

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