Saturday, May 21, 2011

Derek Boogaard's death ruled an accident

Derek Boogaard's death ruled an accident
Derek Boogaard's death ruled an accident. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner announced Boogaard's cause of death Friday, saying it was unclear exactly when the 28-year-old died. Boogaard was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment last Friday, five months after he sustained a season-ending concussion with the New York Rangers.

The medical examiner said no private data on Boogaard would be released, but a statement his family issued through the National Hockey League Players' Association indicated the six-foot-seven Boogaard had been struggling with pain and addiction.

"After repeated courageous attempts at rehabilitation and with the full support of the New York Rangers, the NHLPA and the NHL, Derek had been showing tremendous improvement but was ultimately unable to beat this opponent," the family said. "While he played and lived with pain for many years, his passion for the game, his teammates, and his community work was unstoppable."

Experts say mixing alcohol and medicines can cause dangerous reactions. Drinking alcohol while taking strong pain killers like oxycodone can result in breathing problems and increase the risk of an overdose, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

The family thanked the Rangers, Minnesota Wild, the NHL and the NHLPA for "supporting Derek's continued efforts in his battle."

"Regardless of the cause, Derek's passing is a tragedy," NHL spokesman Frank Brown said in an email. The Rangers and Wild had no comment.

Boogaard's agent, Ron Salcer, said it's been hard dealing with the death.

"The scary part is Derek was doing so well, so much better," Salcer said, adding that Boogaard was "turning a corner."

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