Columbus Blue Jackets Goalie Matiss Kivlenieks Died After Being Hit in the Chest With a Fireworks Mortar Blast

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SJ - July 5, 2021

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks died on Sunday night at the age of 24.  He was initially thought to have died after hitting his head trying to avoid a malfunctioning firework.

That was not the case.  A medical examiner determined on Monday afternoon that Kivlenieks died after being hit in the chest by an errant mortar blast.

From ESPN:

A medical examiner in Michigan says an autopsy has determined that Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks died of chest trauma from an errant fireworks mortar blast, and not a fall, as authorities previously reported.

Police in Novi, Michigan, said the mortar-style firework tilted slightly and started to fire toward people nearby Sunday night. The 24-year-old Kivleniek was in a hot tub and tried to get clear with several other people, police Lt. Jason Meier said.

Meier said that the fire department and EMTs arrived at a private home at 10:13 p.m. local time on Sunday.

Responders took 4 minutes and 38 seconds to arrive after receiving a 911 call. Kivlenieks was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

What an unfortunate tragedy.  There's not much to say except thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and teammates.

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