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Bicyclist died of natural causes

Sixty-five-year-old whose treks earned him hall of fame status honors died of heart disease, coroners conclude.

August 19, 2010|By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com

An Irvine bicyclist who died more than a week after getting hit by a car in Newport Coast, and who underwent multiple surgeries during his recovery, died of natural causes, coroner officials said Thursday.

Daniel Crain, 65, died of heart disease Sunday at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo. An autopsy performed Wednesday determined that his death was unrelated to the crash, authorities said.

Newport Beach police said that, on Aug. 3, Crain was steering to the far right of southbound Newport Coast Drive at the Corona del Mar (73) Freeway offramp when he was hit from behind by a Land Rover going about 45 mph, police said.

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The driver of the luxury SUV was unable to stop and hit Crain. Though he had a broken back, Crain was able to remember the crash and talk to police, his friends wrote on local cycling blogs.

Crain picked up cycling 15 years ago and started competitively racing last year, according to his personal blog. Though well into middle age, Crain was conquering endurance feats like someone half his age.

He rode more than 1,000 miles in 2004, 2006 and 2007, all in 200-mile legs or "double centuries." He was inducted into the California Triple Crown Hall of Fame in 2001 for riding more than 10,000 miles since 1996.

Years later, in 2007, Crain became became the sixth person inducted into the 100 Double Century Club, meaning he'd ridden more than 20,000 miles, according to the competition's website.

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