A former New York Giants 32-year-old offensive lineman and Super Bowl winner died of heatstroke after working outside in his native Arkansas in triple-digit temperatures, officials said Friday.
Mitch Petrus, who played in the NFL for three seasons, was declared dead at 10:45 p.m. Pulaski County Coroner Gerone Hobbs told NBC News Thursday at the Baptist Health Medical Center in North Little Rock.
Little Rock’s high temperature on Thursday was 92 degrees, with a thermal index of 103 degrees, as the town is struggling through a violent — and now lethal— heatwave, just like much of the country.
“He was working at his family shop, outside … and suffered heatstroke,” Hobbs said. “He was drinking water but not enough electrolytes.”
According to Hobbs, the 6-foot-2, 350-pound Petrus had no severe pre-existing medical condition that could have led to his heat-stroke death.
The Department of the Lonoke County Sheriff got a call at 6:45 p.m. for a medical emergency at the towing company of the family, X-Hog Wrecker and Roadside. Authorities said on Thursday.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mitch Petrus,” according to a declaration from Arkansas University. “He was an outstanding competitor, incredible teammate and a true Hog. He will be greatly missed by many. Rest easy Mitch.”
Chris Mortenson, who is covering ESPN pro soccer, said his family was close to the former player.
“We are grieving the loss of Mitch Petrus, a close friend of our family, especially my son Alex,” Mortenson tweeted.
We are grieving the loss of Mitch Petrus, a close friend of our family, especially my son Alex. He was all SEC guard for @RazorbackFB and played on @Giants 2011 Super Bowl champion team. 💔🙏🏻 https://t.co/6FSjQzJXDh
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) July 19, 2019
Hobbs, a Carlisle, Arkansas native, was a college All-Southeastern Conference actor who blocked Darren McFadden and Felix Jones for future NFL running back.
“He’s a joy to be around, he’d put a smile on anybody’s face, brighten up any room he walks into.”
“He’s going to missed a whole lot. It’s really tough. It’s really hard to swallow that news.”
Petrus performed with the New York Giants, New England Patriots, and Tennessee Titans in 27 games in a three-season NFL career.
He played on Feb. 5, 2012, in the Giants Super Bowl victory over the Patriots.