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Referee killed by ice hockey puck

TT/AFP/The Local · 31 Jan 2010, 10:12

Published: 31 Jan 2010 10:12 GMT+01:00

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In what is believed to be the first such incident in Sweden, the 62-year-old died shortly after the incident, which occurred during a junior game near Sollefteå in northern Sweden.

Police said the referee was wearing a helmet but the puck struck a fatal blow when it hit him high on the back of the neck.

"The puck struck the referee between the nape (of the neck) and the lower part of his head, just under where the helmet stops," said Börje Öhman, a police officer in Västernorrland county.

The players in the under 18 game, some of whom were as young as 15, were distraught after the incident.

"They were very upset and wondered what would happen to the boy that shot the puck," one of the team's trainers told the local radio station P4.

Despite efforts to revive him, the referee was pronounced dead before emergency services had reached the hospital.

Story continues below…

According to Jörgen Lindgren, the general secretary of the Swedish ice hockey federation, it is the first such ice hockey related death in Sweden.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:27 January 31, 2010 by TJSmith
I feel bad for the boy who shot the puck. These freak accidents are all part of the game and nothing can be done to safeguard any accident. It will forever be on his mind, that he was the one who shot the puck. I wish him strength to carry on. My condolences go out to the family of the referee, as well.
12:23 January 31, 2010 by mobster
It was an accident. There is no need to get boggled down in this situation, let the game activity keep on going... and we should honor the refree by acknowledging his commitment at age of 62.. I suggest a stadium should be built on his name, tournaments/league matches or name of tropy ect should be on his name.. his death should be honored nationwide... This would bring stability and strength to the distracted and bereaved family and team memebers...
12:41 January 31, 2010 by Decedo
Wow that's terrible. My condolences to his family. This is a 'freak' accident, and I hope the public and hockey federation don't go overboard with drastic/dramatic system changes.
16:40 January 31, 2010 by Liquidmonkey
what a terrible and unfortunate accident :(
21:31 January 31, 2010 by BrittInSweden
Poor kid that hit the puck. Doubt he will be held for anything but he is going to have a tough time of it in the future dealing with the freak accident.

Maybe the ice hockey officiating board will bring in referee helmets similar to those security companies like Group 4 that collect money from banks wear with the "mud flap" on the back of the helmet to stop blows from behind.
03:56 February 1, 2010 by Da Goat
Yeah I feel sorry for the poor kid who shot the puck-n referee, I guess someone had to find the chink in the armour sooner or later,

the story does not exactly say if the puck killed him or if he just died at that time maybe he just had a heart attack from fright!

but it is a novel way to kill!
10:09 February 1, 2010 by Puffin
Tragic accident - a reminder that even when every effort is made that many sports are dangerous

Thoughts to the referee's family and the young players
12:17 February 1, 2010 by La Figaro
A very unfortunate accident.

I hope the kid that shot the puck gets counselling because he didn't set out deliberately to hurt the referee, it was just a freak accident that can happen in our everyday life. Secondly, he may be scared for life & develop a phobia for hockey. Note: If it wasn't the referee, maybe it could have been a player or spectator as the puck may pierce the ONLY hole in the surrounding net and strike a spectator on the forehead. With all advancement in technology, maybe its time to use video technology for monitoring matches or design a lighter & less 'lethal' puck.

My heart goes out to the family of the victim, the kid, his fellow players and their families.
00:43 February 3, 2010 by crazycoach
That is such a tragedy. I know here in the land of ice hockey (Canada), we hear about this sort of thing all too often and players as well as officials are injured or killed each year.

One of my younger cousins hit a referee in the chest with a clearing shot and the referee went into cardiac arrest and died on the ice. It took a lot of talking to the kid to make him understand that it was an accident. It wasn't until the widow phoned him to say she never blamed him for one minute.

My condolences to the officials family and my prayers to the player for his healing.
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