Matiss Kivlenieks, National Hockey League goalie dies after fireworks accident

The 24-year-old Matiss Kivlenieks, had “massive internal damage” after blast.
Matiss Kivlenieks
Matiss Kivlenieks

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender 24-year-old Matiss Kivlenieks died of chest trauma from an errant fireworks mortar blast in what authorities described Monday as a tragic accident on the Fourth of July.

Police in Novi, Michigan, said the firework tilted slightly and started to fire toward people nearby Sunday night. The 24-year-old Matiss Kivlenieks was in a hot tub and tried to get clear with several other people, police Lt. Jason Meier said. Authorities earlier said the Lativan had died of an apparent head injury during a fall, but an autopsy clarified the cause of death.

The fire department and EMTs got to the private home shortly after 10 p.m. and took Kivlenieks to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Meier said. The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s office reported preliminary autopsy results Monday afternoon.

Prior to the autopsy, police said Matiss was believed to have slipped and hit his head on concrete while running from a malfunctioning firework.

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