Westchester ME IDs Man Who Collapsed at 10K

Autopsy results on Steven Gates, a runner in the race in Sleepy Hollow, point to heart disease.

The County Medical Examiner's Office has revealed the name of the man who collapsed during Saturday's 10K race and died soon after as Steven Gates, 54, of Harrison.

Gates' cause of death was listed by the Medical Examiner as cardiomegaly or enlarged heart and coronary atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease, considered the leading cause of death of both men and women in the country.

"Beyond this, is still pending further investigation and study," the office said, including any evidence of a preexisting medical condition. "It's too early to say that."

Gates was pronounced dead at 10:45 a.m. at Phelps Memorial Hospital, where he had been taken by ambulance following administration of CPR on the side of the road from a doctor samaritan.

While several Sleepy Hollow Manor neighbor witnesses claim it took 20 minutes for help to arrive, Sleepy Hollow Police Chief Camp released an official time this morning of eight minutes from time of dispatch to arrival at the scene on Fremont Road.

The time of the race start was 9:30 a.m., and the man had collapsed around 10 a.m., said Lieutenant Anthony Bueti.

Bueti attributed a longer perception of lapsed time from witnesses as similar to the phenomenon of "watching the pot that never seems to boil." He continued, "It's the same thing when you're in a situation like this, it feels like you're waiting forever." 

Bueti confirmed, as have other runners, that there was an ambulance stationed at the start of the race near Morse School. "There was at least one ambulance on hand for the race," he said. He said the ambulance would have been dispatched on their own and not requiring any accompaniment from police. As far as the route, they probably chose Route 9, he said, because of the race bogging down Manor streets.

He also thought the Manor portion was a long stretch of the race, so it made sense that an EMS crew might also be positioned at the Philipse Manor Train Station, as one neighbor suspected, though he could not confirm that there was.

Sleepy Hollow Ambulance Captain Jay Brennan could not yet be reached for comment.

Robert Sullivan spoke on behalf of the Rivertown Runners organization holding this event. "Rivertown Runners extends its thoughts and prayers to this family," he said. "To say anything else at this point would be speculation on our part."

To learn more of the Sleepy Hollow Holloween 10K race, see photos, and results, click here. Sullivan said they were looking over the details and would offer more information when available. 

"Unfortunately, when you call for an ambulance it always feels longer than it really is," Bueti said. 

Bueti said when he arrived at work this morning at 7:30 a.m., Chief Camp was already in his office listening to the 911 calls and reviewing the timeline. "Someone would have gotten a ribbing if something was wrong," Bueti said, agreeing that the race day "did sound complicated."

"Knock on wood, this is the first major major thing we've had go wrong with all these running events," Bueti said. "Which is a shame, because Rivertown Runners does a great job."

Stay tuned with Patch for further updates on this story.

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Jen October 23, 2012 at 12:19 AM
I was there! It was 20 minutes. That is certain. There were dozens of witnesses. The worst part was watching a slow ambulance to begin with turn the wrong way! 8 minutes would be the time of the last of many many calls to 911 wondering where the ambulance was. Everyone that was there KNOWS how long it was. This was not a runner who fell and scraped his knee, this man was dying..... Seconds counted here. Just terrible.
Rachel October 23, 2012 at 02:31 PM
"Sleepy Hollow Police Chief Camp released an official time this morning of eight minutes from time of dispatch to arrival at the scene on Fremont Road." It says from time of dispatch not from time of calls received, that makes a big difference I would think.
Congers Valley Cottage Rotary Club October 23, 2012 at 06:25 PM
i was in the race. there was an ambulance at the start of the race. it was trailing the last runner who was walking actually at a 17 minute pace, and that would put this ambulance about 1.5 to 2 miles behind the scene, becuase the runner was running around a 9 minute mile. I have not read anywhere whether this was the ambulance that was sent to the scene or if another ambulance was sent.
chocolate lover October 23, 2012 at 08:59 PM
God please watch over Stevens, wife and two boys. Rest in peace.
guacamole October 26, 2012 at 07:26 PM
What a tragic loss so young, and with so much wonderful life left to give.


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