Dieter Schmidt, a 75-year-old athletics referee, has died after being struck in the throat with a javelin while measuring a previous athletes throw at an event in Germany Sunday.
Schmidt went out to measure the throw of the previous athlete when the next 17-year-old contestent threw his javelin. It reportedly hit the official in the throat and exited out of his neck. Paramedics were able to revive the referee at the scene and he was promptly taken to the Dusseldorf’s University Hospital, where he underwent surgery after losing blood from his main artery.
Emergency services in Germany reported the referee had severed his carotid artery.
Dusseldorf fire department spokesman, Michael Sandforth, told German website, The Local: ‘He was bleeding very badly and lost a lot of blood.”
The meet, the annual Wilhelm Unger Games event for young athletes, was cancelled after the gory incident, and a few spectators in the 800-plus crowd who witnessed the accident and the 17-year-old javelin thrower were given counselling at the scene. The Police then escorted all spectators out of the arena.
According to the Daily Mail, Schmidt has been described as a ‘highly experienced international javelin judge’. Making this story even sadder, his 18-year-old granddaughter Fiona was due to compete at the championships in a few weeks.
Out of respect for the referee, we’re hoping no video of this incident surfaces on the web, as it sounds horrible and extremely unfortunate. It isn’t clear if the javelin-thrower who struck Schmidt was cleared to throw or not, but we’re guessing not, leading to this fatal accident.