SOUTH YORKSHIRE, England – South Yorkshire Police have made an arrest in relation to the death of former NHL player Adam Johnson, who tragically lost his life last month after sustaining a fatal neck injury from an opposing player’s skate.
A man was taken into custody on suspicion of manslaughter, according to a statement released by the police on Tuesday. The investigation into the death of 29-year-old Johnson is ongoing.
According to South Yorkshire Police, Johnson died from a fatal neck injury. The man, whose identity was not released by the police, remains in custody.
Matt Petgrave, 31, from Sheffield, was the player whose skate blade cut Johnson’s neck.
Johnson, a former forward for the Pittsburgh Penguins, was participating in a Challenge Cup game between the Nottingham Panthers and the Sheffield Steelers at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena on October 28. During the second period of the match, he suffered a fatal neck. Video footage shows Johnson skating toward the Steelers’ goal in the incident. While skating toward Johnson, Petgrave collided with another Panthers player. Petgrave’s left skate kicked up, and the blade struck Johnson in the neck. Both players fell to the ice, and Petgrave immediately got up. After rising slowly, Johnson was helped off the ice. He later died at a local hospital.
The Nottingham Panthers acknowledged Johnson’s tragic death in a statement, describing it as a “freak accident.” The subsequent autopsy confirmed that the official cause of death was a “fatal neck injury.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall, speaking on behalf of the police, emphasized the significant impact of Johnson’s death on various communities, from Sheffield locals to ice hockey enthusiasts worldwide. Horsfall requested that the public refrain from speculating or commenting on the case, as it could hinder the ongoing investigation.
As the investigation continues, thoughts remain with everyone affected by this devastating incident. The South Yorkshire Police are committed to handling the case with professionalism, fairness, and sensitivity, acknowledging the weight of the loss experienced.