Manslaughter arrest made over U.K. ice hockey death

Police on Tuesday arrested a man on suspicion of manslaughter over the death of ice hockey player Adam Johnson, whose neck was cut during a game in Sheffield, England.

Johnson, 29, was seriously injured during a Challenge Cup game between the Nottingham Panthers and the Sheffield Steelers on Oct. 28 and died later in hospital.

A post-mortem examination confirmed the American’s cause of death as a neck injury.

South Yorkshire Police said the man arrested was taken into custody, without giving further details, including the man’s name.

“Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and we have been carrying out extensive enquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances,” said Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall.

“We have been speaking to highly specialized experts in their field to assist in our inquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation.”

A coroner who opened the inquest into Johnson’s death warned that there could be more deaths in the sport unless neck guards become mandatory.

The U.K.’s Elite Ice Hockey League has said it will not enforce mandatory wearing of the safety equipment but would “strongly encourage” players and officials to wear them.

The English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA), in a change to regulations, has said the guards will become mandatory from 2024, but the Elite League, which includes the Panthers, is not under the governing body’s control.