NHL goalie killed in fireworks accident

Matiss Kivlenieks died over the weekend when explosives misfired and hit him in the chest


By Jessie Forand

NOVI, Mich. — Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks died last weekend after a fireworks accident. 

The 24-year-old NHL player from Lativa was at a party when a fireworks display tipped over, sending an explosive toward people watching from a nearby hot tub, Slate reported Tuesday. 

Matiss Kivlenieks, 24, died at a Fourth of July party when fireworks hit him in the chest.
Matiss Kivlenieks, 24, died at a Fourth of July party when fireworks hit him in the chest. (Getty Images/Kirk Irwin)

Kivlenieks was believed to be hit in the chest by the fireworks mortar and local police called it a tragic accident. He was unresponsive when emergency responders arrived at the scene and was declared dead from chest trauma at a nearby hospital. 

No one else was injured. 

The Latvian Hockey Federation called Kivlenieks’ death “a great loss not only for Latvian hockey but for the entire Latvian nation," Slate reported. 

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