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Police: Martin succumbed to heart disease

An autopsy performed on Rick Martin determined the Sabres legend died of heart disease, state police reported this morning.

Dr. Diane Vertes, who performed the autopsy at Erie County Medical Center, found Martin, 59, died of hypertensive arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, or HAS CVD.

This is progressive and prolonged hardening of the arteries that can lead to a heart attack, heart failure and other complications.

Martin, an Akron resident, was driving westbound on Main Street in Clarence shortly after noon Sunday when he suffered an apparent medical emergency and lost control of his sedan and went off the road, state police said Sunday.

Witnesses told troopers that Martin was slumped over the wheel, and appeared to have his eyes closed, as he drifted off the road just west of Salt Road.

Passers-by and a trooper performed CPR on Martin, who was unresponsive, and he was pronounced dead soon after his arrival at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Amherst.

---Stephen T. Watson and Henry Davis

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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