A hockey player for the Swiss Nationalliga B, the nation’s second-tier league, was injured so severely Thursday night after being checked that he is reported to be paralyzed. And now criminal charges could be brought against the player of the illegal move.
According to Tages Anzeiger (translated by Google Translate), Ronny Keller with the EHC Olten was in a playoff match with SC Langenthal when opponent Stefan Schnyder checked him from behind. The check sent Keller sliding head-first into the side wall of the rink.
Here’s footage of the dangerous play:
Tages Anzeiger reported Attorney General Felix Bänziger saying that the severity of Keller’s paralysis, which is not yet completely known, and the spirit of the illegal play — whether it was intentional or accidental — will be a factor in the investigation that could lead to prosecution. Bänziger told Tages Anzeiger that the investigation was not initiated by Keller but by the prosecutor’s office.
The Los Angeles Times reported the hospital releasing a statement saying Keller suffered injuries to his fourth thoracic vertebra and would be a permanent paraplegic as a result. Still, the extent of the injury will take a couple weeks to officially determine.
The SC Langenthal issued a statement saying the team “regrets” the extraordinary and serious consequences of the play, Tages Anzeiger reported. Schnyder, the offending player, expressed similar remorse as well.