NOVI, Mich. (AP) — The Oakland County Prosecutor's Office announced that no criminal charges will be filed in the fireworks-related death of Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks at a Novi home during a party on July 4.
COLUMBUS, OH - JANUARY 3: Matiss Kivlenieks #80 of the Columbus Blue Jackets poses for his official headshot for the 2020-2021 season on January 3, 2021 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Officials say the death has been ruled accidental and the case is now closed.
The accident occurred on Sunday, July 4, at the home of Manny Legace, who was Kivlenieks' goalie coach with Columbus.
Kivlenieks, 24, died of chest trauma from an errant fireworks mortar blast. Police have said the firework tilted slightly and started to fire toward people nearby. Kivlenieks was in a hot tub and was trying to move out of the way of the firework when he was struck. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Kivlenieks most recently represented Latvia this spring at the world hockey championship in which he played four games. This past season, he played two games for the Blue Jackets and eight for the American Hockey League's Cleveland Monsters.
A native of Riga, Latvia, Kivlenieks signed with the Blue Jackets as a free agent in May 2017 and played eight games for the club overall.
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