San Francisco 49ers team doctor Daniel Garza was the subject of a criminal investigation when he died this week, and his death is being investigated as a possible suicide, San Mateo County officials confirmed to a local news station.
Garza was found dead in his Redwood City home on Wednesday. Sources told KRON-4 that the Sheriff’s Department was investigating allegations of improper behavior with interns, however police wouldn’t confirm the nature of the charges.
Garza, 43, who was in his sixth season with the 49ers, also was a leading researcher in concussion and brain-related injuries at Stanford. He served as an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery and emergency medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine and as a physician for the school’s football team.
Stanford told KRON that it had informed authorities of the allegations, and the 49ers said they also heard about them from Stanford.
Garza’s primary research focused on the prevention of traumatic brain injury in athletes. He conducted extensive studies on the risk of concussions by fitting athletes, including Stanford football players, with mouthpieces that measure the impact and frequency of collisions.
"Dan Garza was very dedicated to sports medicine, to teaching human physiology and to his research to improve recovery and treatment outcomes for athletes," said Dr. William Maloney, a professor and chair of Stanford’s department of orthopedic surgery. "He was persistent in his desire to find solutions to one of the most concerning areas in our field, the prevention of concussions and head trauma. We are saddened by his loss and the loss to our profession."