York University student Donald Sanderson, a defenceman with the Whitby Dunlops hockey team, died early in the morning on Friday, Jan. 2 at Hamilton General Hospital. Aged 21, he succumbed to complications from a head trauma he suffered in a fight during a senior hockey game on Dec. 12 in Brantford, Ont.
Right: Don Sanderson
He had been in a coma and on life support since undergoing brain surgery on Dec. 13.
Mr. Sanderson was a student in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science in York’s Faculty of Health.
The native of Port Perry, Ont., became involved in a fight with a player from the Brantford Blast hockey team during the third period of the game on Dec. 12. During the altercation, Mr. Sanderson is reported to have lost his helmet and, when both players fell to the ice, he struck his head on the ice surface.
An accomplished and promising athlete, Mr. Sanderson played with the Whitby Dunlops at the highest level of senior amateur hockey in Canada. Prior to his time with the Whitby Dunlops, he played in the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League for the Ajax Attack and Trenton Sting.
In memory of Mr. Sanderson, the flag at York University flew at half-mast yesterday. Funeral services were held yesterday in his hometown of Port Perry. More than 500 people, including hockey commentator Don Cherry, attended the service.