A spectator who witnessed the tragic ‘freak accident’ that killed ice hockey star Adam Johnson has said it was like ‘a bad dream’.
The American hockey player was accidentally slashed in the neck by Sheffield Steelers player Matt Petgrave during the clash, while more than 8,000 fans were watching from the sidelines.
Spectators were asked to leave the stadium in Sheffield following the 'major medical emergency'.
Witnesses said following the horrific accident his girlfriend ran onto the ice and began to pray for him.
Spectators also described how players from both teams formed a ring around Johnson after he suffered the fatal injury.
In a statement after the tragedy, his team said: "Adam, our number 47, was not only an outstanding ice hockey player, but also a great teammate and an incredible person with his whole life ahead of him.
"The club will dearly miss him and will never ever forget him.
"The Panthers would like to send our thoughts and condolences to Adam's family, his partner, and all his friends at this extremely difficult time.
"Everyone at the club including players, staff, management, and ownership are heartbroken at the news of Adam's passing."
It has since emerged that Johnson suffered an accidental gash to his throat.
Speaking to the Sun, a fan named Hazel who witnessed the tragedy, said: “What happened was horrible and I can’t get the image out of my head.
“It is like a bad dream I can’t wake up from.”
The 46-year-old had gone with her husband Mark to pay their respects outside the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham where fans have begun to leave messages and flowers.
Describing the horrific accident, she went on: “Suddenly during the match the blade stuck the player’s throat and there was blood everywhere.
"He tried to get to the side of the arena but came crashing down.
“His team mates looked horrified and banded together around him to shield him from the crowd. They were amazing.
“Then the paramedics arrived and a protective screen was put around.
"We were all praying and hoping he would make it but sadly he didn’t.
"Our hearts go out to his family and friends and team mates
"I cannot imagine how they are feeling. We are feeling absolutely numb ourselves.
“It was a freak accident, totally tragic, and no one was to blame.”Featured Image Credit: Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images