Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Manslaughter In Ice Hockey Death Tragedy.

Photograph: John Russell/NHLI. Adam Johnson died last month when the skate blade of an opponent cut his throat during the course of a game.
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Police in South Yorkshire, England, say they have made an arrest in connection with the death of Adam Johnson, an American professional hockey player who died last month after his neck was slashed by the blade of a skate during a game.

The man, who authorities have not named, as is customary in England, was charged with suspicion of manslaughter and is still in police custody.

“Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and we have been carrying out extensive enquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances,” said Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall in a statement.

Johnson and the Nottingham Panthers were about halfway through the second period of a game against the Sheffield Steelers on Oct. 28 when Johnson and an opposing player collided, and the other player’s skate struck Johnson in the neck.

Officials quickly brought out screens and emptied the arena as emergency medical personnel responded to the scene.

About 8,000 people were in the crowd for the Saturday night match at Sheffield Arena. Witnesses said the incident was horrific and left many fans in tears as the match was abandoned.

Johnson, a Minnesota native and former Pittsburgh Penguins player, was taken to a local hospital and later pronounced dead. He was 29.

The Panthers called Johnson’s death a “freak accident.”

The tragedy prompted the English Ice Hockey Association, the sport’s governing body in the country, to make neck guards mandatory starting in 2024. The equipment is usually reserved for amateurs, but there has been increased demand for them in the aftermath of Johnson’s death.

At the time of the accident a police spokersperson said, regarding the investigation, ““We have been speaking to highly specialised experts in their field to assist in our inquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield city council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation.”

“Adam’s death has sent shockwaves through many communities, from our local residents here in Sheffield to ice hockey fans across the world,” the South Yorkshire Police said.

“We know these communities will expect us to handle this investigation with the same professionalism, fairness and sensitivity as any other and request that members of the public refrain from comment and speculation which could hinder this process. Our thoughts remain with all affected by this devastating incident as enquiries continue.”

Sources: NPR, Daily Mail.
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