A single-vehicle crash on Vancouver Island has claimed the life of a star player on Great Britain’s national hockey team.
The Shawnigan Lake RCMP are investigating the collision that killed 33-year-old Mike Hammond of Langford early Wednesday morning.
Mounties were called to the scene of the crash near Baden Powell Road around 5:30 a.m.
A statement from the detachment says evidence collected at the scene indicates a black Porsche Boxster veered off the road and struck a tree, killing the driver.
Ice Hockey UK, the national governing body for the sport in the United Kingdom, issued a statement Thursday identifying Hammond as the driver.
“Great Britain ice hockey are devastated to announce that forward Mike Hammond has passed away,” the statement said. “Mike was a cherished GB teammate, loved by so many, and very much part of the Great Britain family.”
Hammond made his debut with the national team in 2018, helping clinch the gold medal in Division 1 – Group A at the International Ice Hockey Federation world championships, the statement said.
Hammond scored five points at this year’s World Championship Division 1 Group in Nottingham in May, helping Great Britain win a promotion back to the top tier, the team said.
Hammond also played for the Nottingham Panthers last season in the U.K.’s Elite Ice Hockey League. The team posted its own tribute to Hammond, offering condolences to his friends and family.
“The Panthers would like to send our thoughts to Mike’s family and friends at this very difficult time,” the team said in a statement. “Our thoughts too are with all his former teammates and everyone at the club is thinking of Hammy and his family right now.”
Police and the B.C. Coroners Service are still investigating what caused the collision and Hammond’s death.
Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the Shawnigan Lake RCMP at 250-743-5514.