The coroner investigating the dying of Nottingham Panthers participant Adam Johnson has stated neck guards needs to be obligatory.
Sheffield’s senior coroner Tanyka Rawden opened the inquest into the dying of Mr Johnson on Friday after he was hit within the neck by the skate of a member of the opposing Sheffield Steelers workforce at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena.
Her report, addressed to Ice Hockey UK and the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA), says: “During the course of the investigation my inquiries revealed matters giving rise to concern.
“In my opinion there’s a danger that future deaths will happen until motion is taken. In the circumstances it’s my statutory obligation to report back to you.”
Ms Rawden outlined the “matters of concern” as: “The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) recommends that neck guards or protectors are worn, however there is no such thing as a requirement for ice hockey gamers over the age of 18 to put on gear designed to guard the neck.
“In due course the inquest will consider whether the use of a neck guard or protector could have prevented Mr Johnson’s death.
“At this stage in my investigation nevertheless, I’m sufficiently involved that deaths might happen sooner or later if neck guards or protectors usually are not worn.”
The death of the 29-year-old American shocked the hockey world, especially because the incident happened in front of 8,000 fans, including many children.
According to the Prevention of Future Deaths (PFD) Report: “During the sport Mr Johnson sustained an incised wound to the neck attributable to the skate of one other participant.
“He was taken by ambulance to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield where he died as a result of his injury.”
The report requires the governing physique to reply inside 56 days and provides: “Your response must contain details of action taken or proposed to be taken, setting out the timetable for action.
“Otherwise, you should clarify why no motion is proposed.”
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It is extremely uncommon for a coroner to concern a PFD report so early in an inquest. They are normally produced after a full inquest is concluded and Ms Rawden made it clear on Friday the listening to won’t happen for a lot of months.
South Yorkshire Police are additionally persevering with to analyze the incident.
The Elite Ice Hockey League has stated it won’t make using neck guards obligatory however will “strongly encourage” gamers and officers to put on them following the tragedy.
Last week, the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) stated neck guards will turn out to be obligatory from 2024, however the Elite League shouldn’t be below its management.
Ice hockey followers paid tribute to Mr Johnson at Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena on Saturday, with many supporters in tears as they signed books of condolence.