August 16, 2006
Landis's father-in-law dead of apparent suicide
Tour de France winner Floyd Landis's father-in-law was found dead in his car Tuesday afternoon, an apparent suicide.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that medical examiners are still investigating the cause of death, but initial police reports called it a suicide.
David Witt, 57, who owned a restaurant in San Diego with his wife, was Landis's roommate soon after Landis moved to San Diego. Witt, who shared a coach with Landis, was dating his wife Rose at the time, and introduced Landis to her daughter from a previous marriage, Amber Basile.
Witt and Landis served as best men at each other's weddings.
Update: Coroner's office officials have reported Witt died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Witt's suicide was probably not a direct result of the doping case against Landis, according to family friend Dwight Van Slyke:
“It could have been a few percentages of the whole maybe, or just another negative thing that he was depressed over,” said van Slyke, adding Witt had also been struggling under the strain of opening a new restaurant earlier this year.
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How terribly sad.
Posted by: noelle at Aug 16, 2006 7:52:19 PM
Terrifying news. One only hopes it has nothing to do with all this commotion... Very sad indeed.
Posted by: Francois Chicoree at Aug 16, 2006 8:42:40 PM
Good lord, this whole affair seems to just be spiraling completely out of control. Fast-forward from the joy of Amber, Floyd and their little girl after Floyd's stage 17 ride and TdF win to this, all in less than a month. Unbelievable.
Posted by: ewmayer at Aug 16, 2006 8:47:13 PM
Martin Dugard has a pretty good take on Floyd as well and has covered the Tour the past two years. I just found his blog that used to be on Active.com at http://www.martindugard.com.
Posted by: Todd Anderson at Aug 17, 2006 1:48:16 PM
Does anyone care about Mr. Witt? What about the "victim" in this news? Does anyone care about his family?
Posted by: Me at Aug 17, 2006 11:37:29 PM
Wow, that's a thoughtful interpretation of the act of suicide. Glad you're not working the crisis phone lines.
Posted by: Jeremy at Aug 18, 2006 10:06:41 AM