By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Fireworks are a joy to watch. But at the same time, they can be very dangerous.
Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks was killed on Sunday due to an errant fireworks incident. He was 24.
Kivlenieks — who could have been the team’s future goalie — was injured in an incident in Novi, Michigan late Sunday night. He succumbed to his injuries.
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The medical examiner’s preliminary autopsy said that his official cause of death was a mortar blast to the chest. It was previously reported by the authorities that he died after hitting his head on concrete.
Police Lt. Jason Meier said that the fireworks tilted at people in a hot tub and tried to get away from the fireworks, along with other people.
“At the moment, we’re pretty certain this was a tragic accident,” Meier said.
Kivlenieks played in two games with the Blue Jackets this season. He had a 3.40 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage.
He also played eight games with the Cleveland Monsters in the American Hockey League. The Latvia native signed with the Blue Jackets in 2017.
“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. “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.”
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