This Week on ABC executive producer Dax Tejera, who passed away in December, reportedly died from alcohol poisoning due to a choking incident. According to the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Tejera, 37, passed away on December 23 from “asphyxia owing to blockage of the airway by food bolus worsening acute alcohol intoxication.”
The coroner ruled the death to be unintentional. An internal memo from ABC News president Kim Godwin in December stated that Tejera had died of a heart attack.
On the night of Tejera’s death, police were dispatched to the hotel near Grand Central Terminal where he and Veronica were staying due to a report of unsupervised children. 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 detrimental to a child.”
However, Veronica discussed the event with Entertainment Tonight last month. The woman, a mother of two, issued a statement in which she admitted to making a “bad decision” by leaving her kids at home.
“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 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.”
“Our family has suffered a terrible tragedy. I respectfully ask for privacy while my children and I mourn Dax’s death,” Veronica added.
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Tejera was a producer for the show This Week with George Stephanopoulos. After nearly three years at the helm, Tejera has transformed the show from a floundering political program to a Sunday morning smash hit.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tejera joined the program three years after joining ABC News in 2017 as a senior producer, right before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Previously, he had served as executive producer for Jorge Ramos’ show on Fusion and as a producer at MSNBC.
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