The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office ruled that a combination of opioids and alcohol caused the July 1 death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs in a Texas hotel room, the Los Angeles Times reported today.
“The cause of death is listed as a mixture of ‘alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents,’ meaning Skaggs, 27, essentially choked on his vomit while under the influence,” the Times reported. “The death, according to the report, was ruled an accident. He was found on his bed, fully clothed, and there were no signs of trauma.”
According to the Times, the Skaggs family said in their statement on the death that the Angels may be involved in Skaggs’ death. Here’s the relevant portion of that statement, as reported in the LA Times:
We are grateful for the work of the detectives in the Southlake Police Department and their ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding Tyler’s death. We were shocked to learn that it may involve an employee of the Los Angeles Angels. We will not rest until we learn the truth about how Tyler came into possession of these narcotics, including who supplied them. To that end, we have hired attorney Rusty Hardin to assist us.
What happens next is unknown, especially given that the Anaheim Police Department just put out a statement saying that it’s not currently investigating Skaggs’ death, and has no plans to do so.
“We are saddened by the information released today in Texas regarding the cause and manner of death of Tyler Skaggs,” said Sergeant Daron Wyatt, the Anaheim Police public information officer, in an Aug. 30 statement. “While this in no way minimizes the tragic loss of such a vibrant and promising young life, it serves as an indication of the pervasive nature of drugs in our society. The Anaheim Police Department has not been made aware of any allegations of criminal conduct in Anaheim and does not have an open investigation in this matter.”
Both Major League Baseball and the Southlake Police Department in Texas said they would investigate the Skaggs family’s allegation, the Times reported. The Times also reported that the Angels retained a Texas trial attorney to represent the organization.
Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He spent a dozen years as Editor of MauiTime, the last alt weekly in Hawaii. He also wrote three trashy novels about Maui, which were published by Event Horizon Press. But he got his start at OC Weekly, and returned to the paper in 2019 as a Staff Writer.