Adam Johnson: Coroner suspends investigation into death of former NHL player

A senior coroner investigating the death of former NHL and Nottingham Panthers player Adam Johnson has suspended his investigation while police investigations continue.

Johnson, 29, died after being cut in the neck by a skate during a Challenge Cup game against the Sheffield Steelers on October 28, with the Nottingham Panthers calling it a “freak accident.”

South Yorkshire Police (SYP) launched an investigation and in November arrested a man on suspicion of manslaughter following Johnson’s death. He has since been released on bail.

Tanyka Rawden, coroner at Sheffield Coroner’s Court, has decided to suspend examination of the evidence until July 26, although it will resume before then if South Yorkshire Police (SYP) concludes its investigation and the man is not charged.

Rawden conducted a private desk review of the progress of the investigation on January 26.

“HM Senior Coroner has reviewed the progress of the investigation into the death of Adam Johnson,” a statement read.

“Since opening the investigation on 3 November 2023, South Yorkshire Police detectives have arrested and questioned a man on suspicion of manslaughter.

“The suspect has been released on police bail while the investigation continues.

“In light of the fact that a person may be charged with an offense of manslaughter involving the death of the deceased, HM Senior Coroner has suspended his investigation into Mr Johnson’s death under paragraph 1(2)(a) of the Coroners and Justice Schedule 1. Act 2009.

“If South Yorkshire Police determines before 26 July 2024 that no person will be charged with an offense of murder involving the death of the deceased, the coroner will resume his inquest upon receipt of notification of that decision.”

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On November 14, SYP Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall had shed light on some details about the exact nature of the force’s investigations.

“Our investigation was launched immediately after this tragedy and we have been conducting extensive investigations since to reconstruct the events that led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances,” he said in a statement posted on the SYP website.

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

“Adam’s death has shocked many communities, from residents here to ice hockey fans around the world.”

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(Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)