$2m NHL star killed in errant fireworks blast

3 weeks ago 7

A aesculapian examiner successful Michigan says an autopsy has determined that Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks died of thorax trauma from an errant fireworks mortar blast, and not a autumn arsenic authorities antecedently reported.

Police successful Novi, Michigan, said the mortar-style firework tilted somewhat and started to occurrence toward radical adjacent Sunday night. The 24-year-old Kivleniek was successful a blistery tub and tried to get wide with respective different people, constabulary Lt. Jason Meier said.

The occurrence section and EMTs got to the backstage location soon aft 10pm and took him to a hospital, wherever helium was pronounced dead, Meier said. The Oakland County Medical Examiner's bureau reported preliminary autopsy results Monday afternoon.

Prior to the autopsy, constabulary said Kivlenieks was believed to person slipped and deed his caput connected factual portion moving from a malfunctioning firework.

"At the moment, we're beauteous definite this was a tragic accident," Meier said.

Matiss Kivlenieks of the Columbus Blue Jackets has died astatine conscionable 24. (Getty)

Meier said the autopsy findings prompted officers to re-interview immoderate witnesses. He said constabulary volition proceed seeking to interrogation arsenic galore radical arsenic they tin who were contiguous astatine the time.

"We're starting to enactment unneurotic a beauteous bully representation of what occurred," helium said, reiterating that constabulary judge Kivlenieks's decease was accidental.

Meier said constabulary who responded to the exigency calls said determination was a "large gathering" astatine the location Sunday nighttime but helium didn't person an estimation of however galore radical were determination oregon however galore radical constabulary privation to talk with.

Meier would not supply the code of the spot successful Novi, a bluish suburb of Detroit. A constabulary study hasn't been completed yet.

The Blue Jackets and Latvian Hockey Federation announced Kivlenieks' death, with the NHL nine saying it resulted from an evident caput wounded successful a fall. The team's connection made nary notation of fireworks. Kivlenieks was connected a two-year declaration with the squad worthy conscionable nether $2 million.

Columbus wide manager Jarmo Kekalainen tweeted: "Life is truthful precious and tin beryllium truthful fragile. Hug your loved ones today. RIP Matiss, you volition beryllium dearly missed." Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson called it a "devastating time" for the team.

"Kivi was an outstanding young antheral who greeted each time and everyone with a grin and the interaction helium had during his 4 years with our enactment volition not beryllium forgotten," helium said.

"What a tragic nonaccomplishment for each of america who knew him and I americium reasoning and praying for his family," erstwhile Blue Jackets skipper Nick Foligno tweeted. "Heaven gained a darn bully goalie and amended person… Just, mode excessively soon."

Former Columbus defenseman David Savard learned of it from Foligno.

"That was a brutal wake-up this morning," Savard said successful French. "That was a bully kid with a batch of endowment who was going to beryllium a portion of the squad adjacent twelvemonth oregon successful the future. That's highly sad."

Matiss Kivlenieks. (NHLI via Getty Images)

Kivlenieks' decease came connected the eve of Game Four of the Stanley Cup Final successful Montreal, wherever the Tampa Bay Lightning had a accidental to clinch the title against the Canadiens connected Monday night.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Kivlenieks' "love for beingness and passionateness for the crippled volition beryllium profoundly missed by each those who person been fortunate to person him arsenic a teammate and a friend".

The Latvian Hockey Federation called Kivlenieks' decease "a large nonaccomplishment not lone for Latvian hockey but for the full Latvian nation".

Kivlenieks astir precocious represented Latvia this outpouring astatine the satellite hockey title successful which helium played 4 games. He played 2 games for the Blue Jackets and 8 for the American Hockey League's Cleveland Monsters this past season.

Goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks successful enactment for the Columbus Blue Jackets. (NHLI via Getty Images)

A autochthonal of Riga, Latvia, Kivlenieks signed with the Blue Jackets arsenic a escaped cause successful May 2017 and played 8 games for the nine overall. He was seen arsenic a imaginable No.2 goaltender adjacent play if Joonas Korpisalo oregon Elvis Merzlikins were traded.

Kivlenieks was astatine Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course successful Lexington past Tuesday arsenic a impermanent of IndyCar operator Alexander Rossi.

Rossi announced that time helium was going to contention the Baja 1000 successful Mexico successful November, and Kivlenieks took a thrust astir Mid-Ohio successful a Honda Ridgeline to assistance beforehand some Rossi and Sunday's IndyCar race.

"This hits hard," Rossi tweeted. "Prayers to the household and the team."

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