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Update: Coroner confirms the cause of death of ice hockey star Adam Johnson after the player’s throat was split by an opponent’s skate in horrific accident

Nov 3, 2023

Ice hockey player, Adam Johnson’s devastated fiancee had to identify his body after his neck was fatally cut open during a game, an inquest into his death heard today. 

Johnson, 29, died after an opponent’s skate hit him in the throat in a Challenge Cup match at Sheffield, South Yorkshire, last Saturday. 

Around 8,000 fans witnessed the horror display as attempts were made to save his life on the hockey rink. 

The brief inquest hearing which opened today at the Medico-Legal Centre in Sheffield was told Adam was rushed to Northern General Hospital in the city but died of his injuries.

His heartbroken fiancée Ryan Wolfe identified his body in the hospital, the court heard.

A coroner has offered her ‘sincere condolences’ to Adam’s family and friends.

On Friday, Sheffield’s senior coroner Tanyka Rawden opened and adjourned an inquest into Johnson’s death.

Mrs Rawden confirmed personal details about the player, including that he was from Minnesota in the United States, and gave very brief details of how he died.

She said that initial investigations had found that: ‘Mr Johnson was seriously injured.’

‘He was taken by ambulance to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield where he died later that day as a result of the injuries sustained.

‘He was identified by his fiancee, Ryan Wolfe.’

She said inquiries into the death were continuing.

The coroner adjourned the inquest until January 26 but stressed that this would be for a review and not for the full hearing.

Mrs Rawden concluded the four-minute long hearing by saying she wanted to ‘take this opportunity to offer to his family, his friends and all those who knew him, my sincere condolences at this difficult time.’

Adam joined the Nottingham Panthers in August after spells in Germany and Sweden.

He previously played 13 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins in North America’s National Hockey League, the sport’s elite club competition.

After his death, calls for neckguards to be made mandatory have grown.

South Yorkshire Police said its officers had been studying footage of the incident and added the investigation ‘is likely to take some time’.

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