Adam Johnson: Man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after ice hockey player’s neck cut in match

The American died from a fatal neck injury suffered during a game watched by thousands

Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Tuesday 14 November 2023 17:50 GMT
Adam Johnson: Tributes laid at Sheffield stadium as ice hockey player dies after 'freak accident'

A man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after the death of Nottingham Panthers ice hockey player Adam Johnson.

The American suffered a fatal cut to his neck during a Challenge Cup match against Sheffield Steelers at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena on 28 October.

In front of a crowd of 8,000 people, ambulance staff and a critical paramedic team performed CPR before Mr Johnson was taken to hospital, where he later died.

Adam Johnson died on Saturday 28 October when his throat was fatally cut

South Yorkshire Police said a post-mortem examination concluded he died as a result of a fatal neck injury.

And on Tuesday, the force announced a man had been arrested over the former North America’s National Hockey League (NHL) player’s death.

Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall said: “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.

“We have been speaking to highly specialised experts in their field to assist in our enquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation.”

Hundreds of tributes have been left to Mr Johnson since his death

Mr Johnson joined the Nottingham club in August having previously played in Germany and Sweden as well as in the NHL.

An inquest into his death was opened and adjourned on November 3, but Sheffield’s senior coroner, Tanyka Rawden, has already called on the sport’s governing bodies to take action.

The Elite Ice Hockey League, in which the Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers compete, has said it will not make the use of neck guards mandatory but will “strongly encourage” players and officials to wear them following the tragedy.

Det Chf Supt Horsfall said: “Adam’s death has sent shockwaves through many communities, from our local residents here in Sheffield to ice hockey fans across the world.

“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.”

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