According to the official accounts, Dax Tejera, the executive producer of This Week on ABC, passed away in December after choking to death while under the influence of alcohol.
According to the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, who confirmed the information to PEOPLE, Tejera, who was 37 years old, passed away on December 23 from “asphyxia owing to obstruction of airway by food bolus complicating acute alcohol intoxication.”
According to the office’s findings, the death was an accident. Tejera’s cause of death was previously stated to be a heart attack in a message sent by ABC News president Kim Godwin and distributed to staff members in December.
PEOPLE attempted to contact ABC News on Wednesday, but the network did not provide any further comment. Tejera is survived by his wife Veronica Tejera, who is 33 years old, as well as his children Sofia, who is 2 years old, and Ella, who is 7 months old.
On the same evening that Tejera was found dead, police were dispatched to the hotel that he and Veronica were staying in close to Grand Central Terminal due to concerns surrounding youngsters who were left unsupervised.
The New York Police Department’s Deputy Commissioner Public Information Office tells PEOPLE that Veronica was arrested on two counts of “acting in a manner injurious to a child,” The agency says that the two young girls were alone for a long time in a hotel room.
Late Wednesday, PEOPLE asked Veronica’s lawyer, Phillip C. Hamilton, for a comment, but he didn’t respond right away. But last month, Veronica talked to Entertainment Tonight about the event.
In a statement, the mother of two said that leaving the kids alone was a “bad choice.”
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“When Dax collapsed on December 23rd, I accompanied him in an ambulance to the hospital. I asked both a close friend and my parents to rush to my children’s hotel room to attend to them as I monitored them by the camera. The hotel would not allow my friend in and instead called the NYPD,” the statement said.
“We had two cameras trained on my children as they slept, and I monitored them closely in the time I was away from them. While the girls were unharmed, I realize that it was a poor decision.”
On “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Tejera served as the lead producer.
Tejera has transformed the once-struggling political broadcast into a Sunday morning phenomenon in the roughly three years that have passed since he took control of the show.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tejera’s tenure at the show began immediately prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in the year 2020. This was three years after he started working as a senior producer for ABC News in the year 2017. Prior to that, he worked at MSNBC as a producer and also served as an executive producer for the program that Jorge Ramos hosted on Fusion.
“Despite his age, he was already one of the most talented news producers in America,” Univision anchor Jorge Ramos previously told PEOPLE of his former colleague. “Nothing seemed impossible for him.”
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