Fan Loses Eye; Struck by Puck at Uline Arena

Carroll Hall
Carroll Hall

How tragic. This reminds me of the horrible accident in 2002 when a girl was killed by a flying puck at a Columbus Blue Jackets game.

This is the article we dug up in The Washington Post and Times Herald from December 16th, 1957.

Carroll Hall, local newspaper and public relations man, lost his left eye yesterday morning in an operation after a flying puck struck him Saturday night between periods of the Washington Presidents-New Haven Blades ice hockey games at Uline Arena.

The eye was removed in an operation at Episcopal Hospital by Dr. Melvin G. Alper.

Hall, former reporter with the old Washington Times-Herald and recent sports publicist at George Washington University, is resting comfortably at Episcopal Hospital and can receive visitors.

The accident occurred moments before the start of the third period of Saturday’s hectic Eastern Hockey League game at Uline Arena.

Carroll visited the Washington dressing room after the second period which ended with a disputed goal and a hassle between a Washington player and a New Haven official.

Hall, who is part-time promotion director for the Presidents, departed from the dressing room along with a companion as the Washington players trooped onto the ice.

As Hall and friend headed back to their seats, a man in the runway leading to the ice beckoned to Carroll’s companion.

Carroll waited nearby on the runway behind the north goal cage as the two others exchanged greetings.

Then, without warning, a black puck hurtled in the direction of the threesome. It was a practice shot from the stick of a New Haven player.

The hard rubber disc, flying at a speed estimated at 75 to 100 miles an hour, was coming so fast there was no time to move or shout a warning.

Carroll’s first reaction was to catch the puck. But in almost the same instant the object was spotted by Hall and his companion, it crashed squarely into Carroll’s left eye.

Carroll fell to his knees in a scream of agony with his hands covering his injured eye.

The blow came with such suddenness that few people in the runway were aware of the accident as it happened.

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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