The teammate of former Pittsburgh Penguins center Adam Johnson, who tragically died last weekend after his neck was cut by a skate during a game, has spoken out, calling it “the most traumatizing thing” he’s ever witnessed.
Victor Bjorkung, a Swedish ice hockey player and defenseman for the Nottingham Panthers, spoke to the media in Sweden about the tragic passing of 29-year-old Johnson.
Johnson, originally from Minnesota, died on Saturday when he suffered a fatal neck wound after being cut by the skate of an opposing player during a game at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena.
“You are so shocked at the moment, everything goes so damn fast. One moment, you have your friend there, the next second, he’s gone,” Bjorkung told Expressen, via a translation by The Nottingham Post.
While explaining that he has “gaps” in his memory of the incident, he told the outlet that Johnson’s death was “the most traumatizing thing I have seen in my entire life.”
South Yorkshire police said in a news release earlier this week that investigators are reviewing footage and speaking with witnesses who were in attendance at the game between the Nottingham Panthers and the Sheffield Steelers.
Police added that they expect the investigation “will take some time.”
Bjorkung told the outlet that he has since reached out to Matt Petgrave, the player whose skate cut Johnson, amid the criticism he has faced online.
“No one in our team thinks it’s his fault, quite the opposite. We stand behind him.”
An inquest into Johnson’s death was opened and adjourned until late January after a brief hearing was held on Friday, according to The Athletic.
The coroner revealed that Johnson was taken to an area hospital after what the team called a “freak accident” and was later pronounced dead. His fiancee, Ryan Wolfe, identified him.