Dax Tejera, an executive producer for ABC News, was just 37 years old when he suddenly passed away on December 23rd. At the time, not much was known about the cause of death, as friends and family members were left with more questions than answers. Some of those questions are now being answered.
On Thursday, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner released a report that ruled Tejera’s death an accident – revealing the cause of death as ‘asphyxia due to obstruction of airway by food bolus complicating acute alcohol intoxication.’ In simpler words, he was choking on food while intoxicated.
It was originally reported that Dax Tejera suffered a heart attack while eating at a restaurant with his wife. At one point during the outing, a waiter checked on Tejera because he looked ill – at which point he excused himself from the table and proceeded to walk outside. That’s when he started choking to death.
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Dax Tejera leaves behind a wife, Veronica Tejera, and two daughters – Sofia, 2, and Ella, 7 months old. Following the news of his passing, his wife was arrested and charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. It was later learned that their two daughters were left alone in the couple’s hotel room.
On January 3rd, Veronica detailed what happened on the night of her husband’s passing. The couple decided to go out one night for dinner but left their two children unattended in the hotel room – they had cameras fixated on the children and were monitoring them, which she admitted was a poor decision.
When her husband collapsed outside, she rode in the ambulance as they headed to the hospital. She immediately called her parents – as well as a close friend – and asked them to make their way to the hotel room to check on their two daughters. When they arrived, the hotel staff wouldn’t let them in.
Instead, the hotel staff called the New York Police Department (NYPD), who then checked on the children and subsequently took Veronica into custody. “While the girls were unharmed, I realize that it was a poor decision,” said Veronica on January 3rd – calling the entire situation a ‘terrible tragedy’ for her family.
Dax Tejera Remembered as a Stout Producer and Father
In the hours following the news of his passing, many friends and colleagues took to social media to share their condolences for Dax Tejera and his wife, two daughters, and family. The news was originally shared by Kim Godwin, president of ABC News, who confirmed his death in a memo to ABC News staff.
“As EP of This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Dax’s energy, passion, and love for that show, ABC News, and you shined every Sunday morning. That same love was extended to his precious girls,” she said. “On this Christmas Eve, hug your loved ones a little tighter. And please lean on each other.”
Others took to social media to talk about his love and passion. “Dax was a groundbreaking ep. So important to ABC as if not the first Latino, among the first to rise to the executive producer level. I worked with him at fusion and ABC. Always supportive and damn good. I will miss him. And feel for his young family,” said Jim Avila.
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Dax Tejera leaves behind a good legacy at both MSNBC and ABC News. He was a senior producer for ABC News between 2017 and 2020, at which point he joined This Week with George Stephanopoulos as executive producer. He received two Emmy nominations, both in 2018, for his work on the show.
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