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Autopsy: Howe had meth in system at time of crash

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Former major league pitcher Steve Howe
had methamphetamine in his system when he was killed after his
pickup truck drifted off a desert highway, a coroner's autopsy
showed.

The coroner's office said Tuesday that Howe, 48, of Valencia
died of injuries sustained in the April 28 single-vehicle crash on
Interstate 10 in Coachella, about 150 miles east of Los Angeles.

Toxicological results determined there was methamphetamine in
his bloodstream, the coroner's office said. The amount of the
illegal drug wasn't disclosed.

Howe's pickup veered into the median and began to roll,
witnesses told investigators. Howe, who was not wearing a seat
belt, was ejected from the truck and the pickup landed on top of
him.

Howe was the 1980 NL Rookie of the Year with Los Angeles, closed
out the Dodgers' 1981 World Series championship and was an All-Star
the next year.

But for all of his success on the field, the hard-throwing lefty
was plagued by his addictions. He was suspended seven times and
became a symbol of the rampant cocaine problem that tormented
baseball in the 1980s.

During the 1992 season, he became the first baseball player to
be banned for life because of drugs; an arbitrator reinstated him
after the season.

Howe was 47-41 with 91 saves and a 3.03 ERA with the Dodgers,
Twins, Rangers and Yankees. His final season in the majors was
1996.