By Jenny Masters
Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks died Sunday after being struck with fireworks at a private party in Novi, Mich., the authorities said. He was 24.
The police originally thought that Mr. Kivlenieks, who started two games for the National Hockey League team this season, had died from a fall while trying to flee the fireworks, but an autopsy found he had died of chest trauma as a result of a fireworks mortar, according to Lt. Jason Meier of the Novi Police Department.
One of the mortar elements tipped toward a hot tub, where multiple people were sitting. They tried to get out of the hot tub, but Mr. Kivlenieks was hit. No one else was injured, according to Lieutenant Meier. He said that there was no indication that the fireworks were illegal, but he gave no further details. He said the episode was being investigated as an accident.
Emergency workers who were called to the residence in Novi, a city about 30 miles northwest of Detroit, arrived just after 10:17 p.m. on Sunday. The police said they immediately transported an unresponsive Mr. Kivlenieks to Ascension Providence Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
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