An autopsy report lists arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease as contributing to Greg Evers' death. Drowning is listed as the actual cause of death.
A heart issue may have caused former state Sen. Greg Evers to lose control of his pickup truck and plunge off a bridge near Baker on the night he drowned in the deep water of Penny Creek.
An autopsy report released Tuesday lists arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease as contributing to Evers’ death. Drowning is listed as the actual cause of death.
The Aug. 21 single-vehicle wreck was determined to have been an accident.
Arteriosclerosis is defined on medical websites as a hardening and thickening in the walls of the arteries. The report states some of Evers’ internal organs showed symptoms commonly associated with congestive heart failure.
Dr. Cameron Snider conducted the autopsy for the First Judicial Circuit Medical Examiner’s Office. Snider and others from the Medical Examiner’s Office did not return phone calls Tuesday seeking comment.
Several in Evers' inner circle have said they were aware the 62-year-old veteran lawmaker had been having heart problems. State Sen. Doug Broxson, R-Gulf Breeze, who replaced Evers in the Florida Legislature’s upper chamber in 2017, said he and Evers had discussed the health concerns “fairly close to his death.”
The Florida Highway Patrol, which has not released its official report on the accident, did say that Evers was traveling north on Griffith Mill Road near his home in Baker when he failed to negotiate a right curve. The report stated Evers’ truck crossed a southbound lane and hit the guardrail on the west shoulder.
The pickup went through the guardrail and into the creek, which has an average depth of 12 feet and could have swelled to as high as 18 feet on the night of the accident.
Evers was partially ejected when the truck hit the water and the vehicle's windshield was broken. The autopsy report states he suffered “multiple superficial lacerations” as well as abrasions and contusions.
The pickup truck was mostly submerged following the wreck and wasn’t discovered until the afternoon of Aug. 22.
Evers started his business career as a farmer and built a popular u-pick-em strawberry operation near Baker that he called Akers of Strawberries. He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2000 and served until his term limits expired in 2010. He moved on to the Senate that year and served there until 2016.
The always affable Evers left the Senate in 2016 to face off against fellow Republican state lawmaker Matt Gaetz and several others for a seat in the U.S. House. Gaetz won the election.