Jul 5, 2021 - Sports

Blue Jackets goalie autopsy results show he died of "chest trauma" following July 4 injury

Matiss Kivlenieks deflecting a shot during a game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Detroit Red Wings in Columbus, Ohio, in May.

Matiss Kivlenieks deflecting a shot during a game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Detroit Red Wings in Columbus, Ohio, in May. Photo: Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks, 24, died Sunday from chest trauma following an accident with a firework at a Fourth of July celebration in Novi, Michigan, according to AP.

The big picture: The Novi Police Department said Kivlenieks, a native of Riga, Latvia, slipped and hit his head on concrete while fleeing a mortar-style firework that had tilted toward him and several other people.

  • Autopsy results unveiled Monday note that Kivlenieks died from "chest trauma," after the "percussive injury caused major damage to Kivlenieks' heart and lungs," ESPN reports.
  • Lt. Jason Meier of the Novi Police Department told ESPN the incident was a "tragic accident."

What they're saying:

"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. Kivi was an outstanding young man who greeted every day and everyone with a smile and the impact he had during his four years with our organization will not be forgotten."
ā€” Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson
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