Medical Examiner IDs Man Who Collapsed During 10K

Steven Gates of Harrison was pronounced dead at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow.


The man who collapsed during Saturday's race and died soon after was Steven Gates, 54, of Harrison.

Gates' cause of death was listed by the Westchester County 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 and race director Kristin Idalski could not yet be reached for comment.

"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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