The 16-year-old New Canaan boy who died last week had not fallen to the ice prior to sustaining a fatal injury, contrary to widespread reports, according to the head of St. Luke’s School.
Teddy Balkind, described by his family as affectionate, kind and loyal, “did not fall and was not lying on the ice” last Thursday at the time he was injured in a hockey game at Brunswick School in Greenwich, according to St. Luke’s Head of School Mark Davis.
“He was skating upright and low,” Davis said in a letter sent Wednesday to St. Luke’s families and obtained by NewCanaanite.com. “During the normal course of play, another player’s leg momentarily went into the air and, through no fault of anyone’s, or any lack of control, his skate cut Teddy.”
Balkind died at Greenwich Hospital.
Davis said in the letter, “Despite their profound grief, the Balkinds are deeply concerned about the well-being of hockey players and coaches from both schools. A particular point of concern is an inaccurate description of the accident that has nevertheless become widespread. On behalf of the Balkinds, I will set the record straight and share first-hand accounts from people present as the accident occurred.”
The information is important to share “[b]ecause it’s accurate and it emphasizes the lack of any fault,” Davis said in the letter.
“These boys were excellent skaters, playing a great and fair game when an unimaginable accident wreaked havoc,” he said in the letter. “The coaches, medics and players all responded magnificently, as did the doctors and staff at Greenwich Hospital. They, the coaches, and medical personnel at the rink were heroic in every way. So, too, were the players from both schools. I have drawn strength and inspiration from the compassion, courage, and humanity of all involved, and am far from alone in that.”
Davis’s description of the incident is at odds with some media reports, including an opinion piece published online Wednesday on the Hearst-owned ctpost website, which asserts at one point in reference to Teddy Balkind, “He’d fallen to the ice.”
Other news outlets reporting on the incident, including Greenwich Free Press, did not make such assertions.
According to Davis, Teddy Balkind’s parents “know these teams are carrying the weight of this tragedy on their shoulders.”
“They hope setting the record straight will lift some of that weight and help the healing begin,” he said.