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Death hits Flyers again

Young defenseman dies in boating accident

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Posted: Monday July 26, 1999 09:25 PM

  Dmitri Tertyshny Dmitri Tertyshny was drafted by the Flyers in the sixth round of the 1995 NHL entry draft. Greg Forwerk/Allsport

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Dmitri Tertyshny was killed when he fell out of a boat and was slashed by the propeller Friday night in British Columbia.

An autopsy report released Monday said he bled to death.

The 22-year-old Russian was on the boat with two players from the minor-league Philadelphia Phantoms, Francis Belanger and Mihail Chernov, when the accident occurred on Okanagan Lake near Kelowna, about three hours east of Vancouver.

"He was kneeling up on the seats at the very front of the boat," Staff Sgt. Phillip Boissonneault of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Saturday. "The boat hit a wave, which caused Dmitri to lose his balance and fall forward overboard. And then the boat ran over top of him and he was struck by the propeller."

Tertyshny had two goals and eight assists as a rookie last year in 62 games. He was drafted by the Flyers in the sixth round of the 1995 NHL entry draft but he continued to play in his hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia, until joining the Flyers last season.

He was among 11 players in Kelowna for a power skating clinic. Many of his teammates were just returning from Vermont, where they had participated in John LeClair's charity golf tournament.

Flyers react to tragedy
Coach Roger Neilson: "A freak accident. I phoned (assistant coach Craig Ramsay), who spent a lot of time working with him, and he's devastated. Such a nice, cooperative kid."

GM Bob Clarke: "Tertyshny was a really nice, likable, kid. He always had a smile on his face. You'd ask him how's your English and he'd always say the same thing: 'It's coming, it's coming.' We felt he was really developing as a player and would have continued to develop."

Captain Eric Lindros: "It's a shock. Here you have a young player come over here and get adjusted. He transforms himself into a gamer. ... (He was) just a terrific person. Kind of quiet in the dressing room, but he had a terrific sense of humor."

Defenseman Chris Therien: "Such a nice, young guy with a bright future. He was a good, young man. It's a real tragedy."

"You worry about Tertyshny's family and you worry about the things you normally worry about when a young person passes away," Flyers team president and general manager Bob Clarke said Saturday.

He said counseling will be available for players who were shaken up by the tragedy.

Tertyshny did not die right away, according to Boissonneault.

"He suffered some very severe lacerations to his neck," he said, adding that Tertyshny, who was not wearing a life preserver, was bleeding severely, and likely severed his jugular vein, when he was pulled into the boat, and likely died in the boat.

Boissonneault said a local woman identified as Michelle Monroe, who had met the players on the beach, was also on the boat.

Alcohol was consumed by the boating party, but Belanger, who was operating the boat, was not legally impaired, Boissonneault said.

"We cannot prove any criminal responsibility by any of the individuals on board and there are no charges contemplated at this time," Boissonneault said.

Tertyshny's wife, Pauline, is four months pregnant and living in Russia. A Flyers spokesman said the body will be returned to Russia for burial.

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