Toto musician died of cocaine use

LOS ANGELES -- Drummer Jeff Porcaro of the Grammy-winning pop group Toto died of hardening of the arteries due to prolonged cocaine use, not of pesticide poisoning as previously suspected.

The Los Angeles County Coroner reported Thursday that Porcaro, 38, who played backup for such stars as Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits and John Fogerty, had no pesticide in his system.


The musician's managers said he may have died of a heart attack caused by an allergic reaction to a pesticide he was using in his yard when he collapsed and died Aug. 5.

But the coroner's toxicological report completed this week shows Porcaro died of heart disease caused by long-time cocaine use, Coroner's Office spokesman Bob Dambacher said.

The autopsy found traces of cocaine in Porcaro's blood along with benzoylecgonine, described as a metabolite or byproduct of cocaine.

'Cause of death has been determined to be occlusive coronary artery disease, due to atherosclerosis, due to the effects of cocaine,' the coroner's report stated.

Porcaro was a co-founder of Toto, whose debut single 'Hold The Line' went gold and was on the group's first album for Columbia Records in 1977, which went platinum.


The group's fourth album in 1982, 'Toto IV,' led to six Grammy Awards, with Porcaro honored for best instrumental arrangement accompanying vocals for 'Roseanna.'

Latest Headlines