Report: Mixture of opioids, alcohol led to death of Angels P Tyler Skaggs

Former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs had a mixture of opioids and alcohol in his system, leading to his death in a Texas hotel room on July 1, according to medical records obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

A toxicology report determined that a combination of “alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents” was the cause of death for the 27-year-old, which was ruled an accident.

In short, test results determined that Skaggs choked on his own vomit after ingesting the drugs and alcohol.

Skaggs’ family released a statement Friday suggesting that an Angels employee may have been involved in the circumstances around his death and that they have hired an attorney.

“We are heartbroken to learn that the passing of our beloved Tyler was the result of a combination of dangerous drugs and alcohol. 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 attorney Rusty Hardin to assist us.”

Skaggs was found dead at 2:18 p.m. on July 1 in a Dallas-area hotel room where the Angels were staying prior to a series with the Texas Rangers. He was fully clothed, and there were no signs of trauma according to the report.

The Southlake Police Department is investigating his death.

The report shows that Skaggs had 3.8 nanograms per milliliter of fentanyl and 38 nanograms per milliliter of oxycodone in his system in addition to a blood-alcohol level of .122 percent, above the legal intoxication level of .08 percent.

13 PHOTOS
Tyler Skaggs through the years
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Tyler Skaggs through the years
USA starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs delivers a pitch against the World team during the first inning of the All Star Futures baseball game Sunday, July 10, 2011, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Arizona Diamondbacks' Tyler Skaggs delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins during the third inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 05: Starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs #37 of the Arizona Diamondbacks sits in the dugout during the MLB game against the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field on July 5, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Rockies 5-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 11: Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim talks to Mike Butcher #23 during the game against the New York Mets at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 11, 2014 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 08: Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim catches a baseball during the game against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 8, 2014 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 24: Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles of Anaheim poses for a portrait while displaying the scar from a 2014 Tommy John surgery at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 24, 2015 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 28: Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the second inning of the game against the Detroit Tigers on August 28, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. The Angels defeated the Tigers 5-0. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 13: Pitcher Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the dugout during the third inning of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 13, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Tyler Skaggs (45) is pulled from the game and heads for the dugout in the fifth inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners, on September 29, 2017, played at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 25: Martin Maldonado #12 catcher of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim talks with starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs #45 in the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on June 25, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. Players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Catcher Jose Briceno #10 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim watches as manager Mike Scioscia #14 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim takes the ball from starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs #45 to take Skaggs out of the game during the fourth inning of the MLB game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 29: Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the first inning of the game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 29, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 18: Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim points to first base in the first inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on June 18, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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An expert told the Times that the amount of fentanyl in combination with the other drugs in Skaggs’ system is consistent with a fatal dose.

“The level of fentanyl is a significant amount that could produce death,” said Cyril Wecht, a Pittsburgh forensic pathologist with 40 years of experience. “In this case, oxycodone and alcohol were also present and would have contributed to the death because they are also central nervous system depressants.”

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