July 05, 2021

NHL Player Killed by Firework in Michigan: Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks died Sunday night after being struck in the chest by a firework in Novi, Michigan. The 24-year-old Latvian reportedly was in a hot tub when a mortar-style firework malfunctioned and headed towards a group of people.

posted by rcade to hockey at 05:23 PM - 2 comments

God damn, this is a tragic story. Rest in peace, kid.

I'm still trying to visualize exactly what happened here. Even the linked story seems to contradict itself, saying that he died from chest trauma, but also that he hit his head as he fell. So did the mortar hit him in the chest, and then he hit his head? Was the head strike relevant to the cause of death? However it actually unfolded, it sure is a reminder of how fragile life is, even for a 24 year old professional athlete.

posted by tahoemoj at 01:50 PM on July 06, 2021

From CNN's follow-up article (noting that the party was at Blue Jackets goal coach Manny Legace's house, and part of a larger wedding party for his daughter):

Meier said Tuesday that a fireworks mortar shot over the top of the hot tub where Kivlenieks was sitting. "What occurred was they were lighting off what looks like a nine-shot mortar box," Meier said. "And at one point the box tipped up the final two mortars." Kivlenieks tried to flee, but the final shot appears to have hit him in the chest area, according to Meier.

So it was the damn mortar that hit and killed him? Shit, what an awful, tragic accident.

posted by tahoemoj at 07:07 PM on July 06, 2021

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