SOUTH YORKSHIRE, England – Law enforcement authorities in South Yorkshire, England confirmed they are carrying out a criminal investigation into the death of hockey player Adam Johnson during a bizarre play involving Matt Petgrave.
Johnson, 29, a forward with the Nottingham Panthers of the Elite Ice Hockey League in England, suffered a gash to the neck in a wild collision with the ice skate of Petgrave, 31, who is a member of the Sheffield Steelers, on Saturday, the U.S. Sun reported.
Johnson, a native of Minnesota, immediately collapsed on the ice and received emergency medical treatment at the Utilita Arena as fans watched in horror. The professional hockey player was then rushed to nearby hospital, but later died of his injuries.
Stunning footage from the contest shows Petgrave’s leg being raised into the air after he was knocked off-balance, before his ice skate strikes Johnson’s neck.
Matt Petgrave needs to be charged with manslaughter for killing Adam Johnson on the ice. What a dirty play. pic.twitter.com/Zvrj7Haz24
— Earl Joseph (@BigDaddyGirth) October 30, 2023
The tragedy occurred during the 35th minute of the game and was witnessed by Johnson’s fiancee, Ryan Wolfe, who was in attendance, the Sun reported.
Johnson was assisted to his feet and led towards the side of the rink by a teammate and a referee as blood covered the ice.
However, he collapsed before getting too far. Paramedics rushed to his aid and administered lifesaving efforts as players formed a protective ring around him to offer privacy, as Wolfe also rushed to his side.
Protective screens were then brought out as about 8,000 fans in attendance watched in stunned disbelief before being told to go home as the game was suspended.
After being transported to the hospital, Johnson underwent surgery, but did not survive.
Hockey experts were quick to defend Petgrave by saying the deadly contact was a “freak accident,” while others condemned the action as criminal in nature.
Petgrave is said to be “absolutely distraught” following Johnson’s death.
Now, South Yorkshire Police have confirmed it is carrying out “a range of inquiries,” including having sought assistance from “specialized experts,” as part of a probe into Johnson’s death.