Breaking News
More () »

Pitcher Tyler Skaggs had fentanyl, oxycodone in his system when he died, autopsy shows

Los Angeles Angels pitcher had a deadly mixture of fentanyl and oxycodone in his bloodstream when he died in Texas. His death was ruled an accident.

Updated at 4:35 p.m. with a statement from L.A. Angels. 

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died of a deadly combination of alcohol and drugs, an autopsy conducted by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner shows. 

Skaggs, 27, was found dead July 1 in a Southlake hotel while the Angels were in town to play the Texas Rangers. 

The autopsy and toxicology report released Friday show Skaggs had a combination of fentanyl, Oxycodone and Oxymorphone in his system. 

His cause of death is due to the mixture of "ethanol, fentanyl and Oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents," meaning he choked on his vomit. His death is ruled an accident, the autopsy shows. 

Dwain Fuller has been a forensic toxicologist for 35 years and offered his expertise on the autopsy report. He tells WFAA the combination of drugs found in Skaggs' system were lethal.

"The reason people take them is to suppress pain. The side effects is suppression of the respiratory drive; you lose your desire to breathe," said Fuller.

Fuller says the amount of alcohol found in Skaggs' system equates to 8 or 9 drinks. The levels of opioids oxycodone and oxymorphone found in the body were described as "therapeutic amounts" unlikely to be individually lethal.

But it is the 3.8 ng/mL of the very powerful synthetic opioid Fentanyl that raises the alarm. 

"The fentanyl concentration is reasonably high for someone who is naive to the drug," said Fuller.

RELATED: Potential alternative to opioids discovered in Denton lab

“Tyler was and always will be a beloved member of the Angels family, and we are deeply saddened to learn what caused this tragic death,” L.A. Angels officials said in a statement to ABC News. 

The autopsy report shows Skaggs was found still wearing the cowboy boots and outfit he appeared to be wearing when the team arrived in North Texas. He posted a photo of himself and his teammates June 30 to Instagram. 

Southlake police said Friday that the investigation into Skaggs' death is "ongoing." 

RELATED: Game between Rangers, Angels 'can be a refuge for players' after death of L.A. pitcher

RELATED: Texas Rangers game postponed after Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out