Omar Villafranca, NBC 5 News
Fans of the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show turned out in mass Monday to show their support for the radio team that's without their leader. A preliminary autopsy performed in Louisiana found that radio host David "Kidd" Kraddick had an enlarged heart and blocked arteries that probably led to an irregular heartbeat. Kraddick became ill during his Kidd's Kids charity golf event Saturday near New Orleans and died at Ochsner Medical Center.
Preliminary autopsy results from the Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office in Louisiana states nationally-syndicated radio and television host Kidd Kraddick died of cardiac disease.
Deputy coroner Dr. Granville Morse said preliminary results showed Kraddick had an enlarged heart along with cardiac disease. Morse said three of the four main arteries of Kraddick's heart were 40 to 80 percent blocked, which can cause an irregular heartbeat.
Kraddick was pronounced dead at 1:30 p.m. at Ochsner Medical Center-West Bank Facility in New Orleans on Saturday. He was attending a golf event for his Kidd's Kids charity before his sudden death.
The coroner's office said final autopsy results would be released after toxicology tests are completed. Morse said those tests are expected to take one to two weeks.
Kraddick Didn't Look Well Saturday
Richie Tomblin, described as the head golf professional at the Timberlane Country Club in Gretna, La., on the country club's website, told the Associated Press that Kraddick wasn't looking well when he saw him getting ready for Saturday's charity event.
"He came out and he borrowed my golf clubs and went out to the driving range," Tomblin told the AP when contacted by phone. "It's kind of a freaky situation. He came out. He practiced a little bit. He hit the ball at the first tee and wasn't feeling good and after that I didn't see him."
Kraddick's friends said they thought he looked sweaty on Saturday morning and that they thought he may be dehydrated, but that they never expected his death.
"I asked the doctor, 'Did he suffer?' and 'Was he in pain?' and he said, 'No," co-host Kellie Rasberry told listeners during a broadcast Monday morning.
The "Kidd Kraddick in the Morning" show is heard on more than 75 Top 40 and Hot AC radio stations and is a leader among most-listened-to contemporary morning programs. The radio program also is transmitted globally on American Forces Radio Network while the show's cast is also seen weeknights on the nationally syndicated TV show "Dish Nation."
"All of us with YEA Networks and the "Kidd Kraddick in the Morning" crew are heartbroken over the loss of our dear friend and leader," a network statement said. "Kidd devoted his life to making people smile every morning, and for 21 years his foundation has been dedicated to bringing joy to thousands of chronically and terminally ill children."
"He died doing what he loved, and his final day was spent selflessly focused on those special children that meant the world to him," it added.
Listeners are mourning Kraddick.
"He was family," Shyril Small said. "He was riding with you in the car. He was sitting next to you at the desk. You'd brag about him, even though you never met him."
Hundreds of fans gathered outside his studio Monday morning to listen and cry together. Kraddick's morning crew even came out to hug fans.
"It was hard. It was very hard," Tracy Rowe said. "My daughter came downstairs and turned it on, and I'm trying to put on my makeup, and I reapplied like five times."
Kraddick would have turned 54 on Aug. 22.
NBC 5's Omar Villafranca contributed to this report.