A man has been apprehended under suspicion of manslaughter in connection with the demise of professional hockey player Adam Johnson. The seasoned 29-year-old hockey player sustained severe injuries during a Challenge Cup match held on October 28 between his team, the Nottingham Panthers, and the Sheffield Steelers in England.
An autopsy was conducted, revealing that Johnson succumbed to a lethal neck injury
Johnson suffered a severe neck injury when the blade of another player's skate slashed him on the ice in Sheffield. Tragically, he was later declared dead at the hospital.
An autopsy confirmed that the Minnesota-born star met his untimely end due to this fatal neck injury. In front of nearly 8,000 spectators at Sheffield's Utilita Arena, a scene of horror unfolded as fellow players made desperate attempts to save his life while he lay on the ice.
The match was subsequently suspended, and the audience was asked to vacate the arena. Expressing their grief, Johnson's aunt, Kari Johnson, conveyed to Sky News, "We are horrified by the senseless tragedy. We just want our boy back, and we know we can't have him." The Nottingham club characterized his death as a "freak accident." Johnson joined the Panthers in August, he had previously played in Germany and Sweden, in addition to his time in the American National Hockey League (NHL).
The police stated that the unnamed suspect, apprehended on Tuesday, remains in custody.
The English Ice Hockey Association has announced mandatory neck protectors from 2024
Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall stated: "The investigation was promptly initiated following the tragedy.
Since then, we have been engaged in an extensive inquiry to reconstruct the sequence of events that led to the untimely loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances." In a report addressing the prevention of similar tragedies, the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) expressed concern about potential future fatalities if neck protectors are not worn.
The EIHA has announced that neck guards will be compulsory from 2024, although it's worth noting that the Elite League does not fall under its jurisdiction. The elite hockey league clarified that while it would not enforce mandatory use of neck protectors, it would "strongly encourage" players to wear them in the aftermath of the tragedy.
The low-quality video stream shows Petgrave, 31, bumping into another player and his skate going up in the air towards Johnson. Petgrave is a journeyman enforcer and leads the EIHL in penalty minutes, according to the Toronto Sun.