Unsettling details of US baseball star’s death revealed
THE stunning death of 27-year-old Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs was the result of an accidental overdose of opioids (fentanyl and oxycodone) and alcohol, according to autopsy results - and the grieving family believes a team employee may be partly responsible for the tragedy.
Skaggs, who was discovered in a Texas hotel room on July 1, suffered "terminal aspiration of gastric contents" - choked on his own vomit - according to the toxicology report from the Tarrant County medical examiner's office.
The family of Skaggs released a statement insinuating an Angels employee might have supplied the drugs.
"We are heartbroken to learn that the passing of our beloved Tyler was the result of a combination of dangerous drugs and alcohol," the statement said.
"That is completely out of character for someone who worked so hard to become a Major League baseball player and had a very promising future in the game he loved so much.
"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 lawyer Rusty Hardin to assist us."
Hardin, who has previously represented former Major League star Roger Clemens, told the Los Angeles Times it was "way too early for us to speculate" whether the Angels could face legal action.
"I think the thing to keep in mind is they're just still so devastated, both the wife and the family, about this young man's death, and they just want to know what happened and how it happened," Hardin told the Times.
"We're going to want to know how it came about that those drugs were ingested and whether or not others are responsible for what happened."
Major League Baseball is planning an investigation into the family's claim.
"We were unaware of this allegation and will investigate," MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said.
The Angels also released a statement: "Tyler was and will always be a beloved member of the Angels family, and we are deeply saddened to learn what caused this tragic death. Angels baseball has provided our full co-operation and assistance to the Southlake Police as they conduct their investigation."
Skaggs arrived with the Angels in Southlake, Texas, for a series against the Rangers on June 30, but didn't show up to the stadium the next day, leading to his discovery in his hotel room and the postponement of that night's game.
Skaggs was drafted in the first round by his hometown team in 2009, made his major league debut with the Diamondbacks in 2012 and rejoined the Angels in 2014. Skaggs made 96 career starts, going 28-38 with a 4.41 ERA.
Angels throwing a combined no hitter on the night they honor Tyler Skaggs is pretty remarkable, the last out and celebration pic.twitter.com/qZ0vZrDKAw— Paid man gets bored (@cjzero) July 13, 2019
In the Angels' first home game home following Skaggs' death, teammates wore jerseys featuring Skaggs' name and number, then went out and won a combined no-hitter.
"We're going to do what we can do honour him and keep his legacy going," infielder Zack Cozart said.
This article originally appeared on the NY Post and was reproduced with permission.
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