Second ABC producer in a week 'dies suddenly'
'Our family is hurting and in disbelief'
January 01, 2023|
A young producer for ABC 10News died unexpectedly last Friday, the second to do so within a week.
No cause of death has been disclosed for Erica Gonzalez, who died overnight in San Diego, California.
“As some of you have heard, our dear family member, Erica has gained her Angel wings, unexpectedly. Our family is hurting and in disbelief,” says a GoFundMe fundraiser created by Gonzalez’s family, who will be using the donations to bring her home to El Paso, Texas and give anything left over to her young son.
“The ABC 10News team has lost an important member of our family,” reported the news outlet. “Erica Gonzalez, one of our talented morning show producers, passed away overnight.
“Gonzalez was a creative and passionate person who not only served our viewers, but her country as well.
“The three biggest loves in her life were her family, the flag and the Friars.
“She was a proud mother to her son, Brandon; she glowed as she talked about his achievements in high school. One of her best days was when he graduated in April.
Gonzalez joined the Marine Corps following 9/11.
Gonzalez’s death was followed three days later by Dax Tejera, the 37-year-old executive producer of ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos. According to ABC News President Kim Godwin, Tejera died of a heart attack.
“It’s with a heavy heart and great sadness that we share that our friend and colleague, Dax Tejera passed away suddenly of a heart attack last night,” Godwin said in a company-wide memo, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The young father came to ABC in 2017 after working at MSNBC, NBC News and Fusion.
“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,” Godwin added. “That same love was extended to his precious girls.”
Godwin added: “Our thoughts are with his wife, Veronica, the couple’s two young daughters, and the entire Tejera family.”
The deaths come as ABC remains embroiled in a lawsuit brought by former crew members of hit soap opera General Hospital for being denied religious exemptions to the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
“On November 9, 2021, ABC officially denied Plaintiffs’ requests for religious exemptions to the Covid Vaccine Mandate. It gave no reason for its decision, except to say that the company was ‘unable to conclude that you are prevented from receiving the Covid-19 vaccine due to a sincerely-held religious belief, practice, or observance,'” reads the complaint filed in June.