Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks dies at 24 after a fireworks accident

Colombus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks has died after out-of-control fireworks struck his chest.

According to Lt. Jason Meier of the Novi, Michigan police department, the 24-year-old was in a hot tub on Sunday night when errant fireworks lit to celebrate the 4th of July struck him.

He was in Novi, Michigan, for the wedding of a coach’s daughter.

Authorities previously said the goaltender died from a head injury he sustained when he fled from the hot tub. However, an autopsy later revealed that he died from “chest trauma from an errant fireworks mortar blast.”

“We are shocked and saddened by the loss of Matiss Kivlenieks, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his mother, Astrida, his family and friends during this devastating time,” said Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson a statement.

The Latvian national was pronounced dead at a local hospital after being rushed there at 10:13 p.m. It was reported that Kivlenieks told one of his teammates not to get into the ambulance.

“He was a really humble, thoughtful, intelligent radiant young man,” said Kivlenieks’s agent Jay Grossman. “Not to generalize, but for whatever reasons, goalies have always gotten a wrap for being more insightful, sometime deeper thinkers. And he was clearly like that but in his own way.”

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The National Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. (wikipedia)

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The Columbus Blue Jackets are a professional ice hockey team based in Columbus, Ohio. They compete in the National Hockey League as a member of the Central Division. (wikipedia)

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