More details emerge on Matiss Kivlenieks' tragic accidental death

T. Tadi
July 6, 2021  (7:27 PM)

By now, the tragic story of the accidental death of Columbus Blue Jackets goaltending prospect Matiss Kivlenieks has made its way around the hockey community as everyone mourns together the loss of a bright young talent.

What we learned following the 24-year-old's untimely death was that Kivlenieks had been celebrating the the Fourth of July and was struck in the chest by an errant fireworks mortar blast and had fallen out of a hot tub and onto his head. Monday's autopsy confirmed that it was the chest trauma from the blast and not the head injury.
On Tuesday some more details have emerged in this story, including the location of the event, as confirmed by ESPN's Emily Kaplan. According to Kaplan, the horrific accident occurred at the Novi, Michigan home of Manny Legace, a former NHL goaltender and the current goalie coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Kivlenieks had traveled to Legace's home along with teammate, close friend and fellow Latvian, Elvis Merzlikins.
As far as the blast that killed Kivlenieks, apparently the 9-shot firework was legally obtained in Michigan and was being managed by someone who had training and was in compliance with State laws.
After Kivlenieks was struck in the chest, a female 911 caller confirmed that the Latvian netminder was breathing, but was "not doing very good". Another caller relayed info to the dispatcher that Kivlenieks would begin convulsing.
Lt. Jason Meier of the Novi Police Department confirmed to ESPN that the whole event was just a "tragic accident".
Nationwide Arena, the Blue Jackets' home rink, has been the site of a shrine since Kivlenieks' passing, with many patrons visiting the arena to leave cards, flowers and other offerings as tribute to the life and the memory of the young goaltender, may he rest in peace.
Our thoughts are with Matiss' family, friends, teammates and the Columbus Blue Jackets organization during this difficult time.
Source: Espn.com
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