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The loved ones of a deceased ice hockey player, who suffered a fatal neck injury during a bizarre accident, have shared their experience of watching the game live from America and witnessing the frantic attempts to revive him.
On Saturday (October 28), Adam Johnson, a player for the Nottingham Panthers, tragically died after his throat was slashed by the skate blade of Matt Petgrave, an opponent from the Sheffield Steelers team. The injury resulted in a severe and fatal loss of blood.
The event took place when the two athletes collided, causing the 29-year-old to briefly stand up before falling onto the ice at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena.
The ambulance crew and a team of paramedics urgently administered CPR on the ice before rushing him to the hospital, but unfortunately, he could not be revived.
Kari Johnson, his aunt, recently disclosed that she and his father were viewing the game via the internet at their residence in Minnesota at the time of the unfortunate incident.
She recounted the event, stating that it was truly terrible and beyond words. She believed that no one should have to experience what they witnessed, while speaking to KSTP-TV on ABC.
“The blade of the skate pierced through Adam’s windpipe and severed his carotid artery. There was a moment where he was lost in the ambulance, but they were able to revive him. Unfortunately, he did not survive the surgery once he arrived at the hospital.”
“The bleeding was uncontrollable and they were unable to stop it. He had lost a significant amount of blood, which was difficult to witness, especially knowing that it was someone close to you. Although he is my nephew, he is like a son to me. Witnessing the event was traumatic.”
She mentioned that the skilled hockey player had recently purchased an engagement ring to ask his partner Ryan Wolfe to marry him. Ryan had recently relocated to the UK to be with him.
She expressed our collective enthusiasm for their upcoming plans. Unfortunately, he was not able to propose before this unforeseen event took place.
On Instagram, Ms Wolfe shared a tribute in which she posted a photo of him and expressed, “My dear angel, I will forever miss you and love you unconditionally.”
Earlier this season, Mr. Johnson joined the Nottingham Panthers after a successful time with the Swedish team Malmo Redhawks and the German team Augsburger Panther.
After participating in ice hockey during his high school and college years, he proceeded to sign a two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the National Hockey League.
“The Nottingham Panthers are deeply saddened to share the tragic news of Adam Johnson’s passing after a freak accident during last night’s game in Sheffield,” his current team announced.
The Panthers extend our sincerest sympathies to Adam’s family, partner, and all of his friends during this challenging period.
The entire club, including the players, staff, management, and ownership, is devastated by the news of Adam’s death.
They referred to him as a remarkable ice hockey player and a wonderful individual, while expressing their sympathy to his loved ones and friends.
A fundraising campaign on GoFundMe has gathered over £12,000 in donations to support Johnson’s grieving family.
South Yorkshire Police confirmed they were investigating the accident, saying: “Our officers remain at the scene carrying out inquiries and our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident remains ongoing.
“We urge the public to refrain from making assumptions about the incident as our investigations are ongoing.”
Beginning in 2024, the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) will require all players to wear a neck guard during any on-ice activities.
The EIHA plans to perform a comprehensive assessment of safety gear within the next year. This will include evaluating helmets, mouthguards/gumshields, and facial protection, as well as implementing IIHF rules.