CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) - News 4 has learned that Sabres legend and member of the "French Connection" line, Rick Martin, was killed in a car crash Sunday.
State Police have released the following information:
"New York State Police stationed in Clarence responded to a report of a motor vehicle accident on Main Street just west of Salt Road in the Town of Clarence.
Upon arriving at the scene, Troopers located a 2011 Buick Lacrosse with front end damage on the south side of the roadway.
The sole occupant of the vehicle was identified as Richard L. Martin, 59 year old Akron, New York resident and former Hall of Fame member of the Buffalo Sabres hockey team.
Martin was still seated in the driver's seat and unresponsive upon the Troopers arrival at the scene.
A trooper along with two citizens that had stopped to render aid, performed CPR on Martin until Emergency Medical Personnel arrived at the scene.
Martin was transported to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital where he was pronounced deceased at 12:48pm.
The preliminary investigation based on physical evidence at the scene and eyewitness account reveals that Martin was traveling west bound on Main Street prior to drifting from lane, crossing the east bound lane and on to the south side shoulder of the roadway.
Martin's vehicle struck a utility pole and then a parking station prior to coming to rest against a tree.
The cause of the accident is unknown at this time and is currently under investigation."
Martin was drafted 5th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1971 NHL Amateur Draft after a junior career with the Montreal Junior Canadiens of the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA).
Martin played 685 career NHL games, scoring 384 goals and 317 assists for 701 points.
The Buffalo Sabres have issued the following statement:
"The Buffalo Sabres are saddened to announce the passing of Buffalo Sabres Hall of Famer and member of the famed French Connection, Rick Martin. Rick was not only one of the greatest players in franchise history, he was a great friend to the Sabres organization and the entire community. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Sabres organization go out to his wife Mikey and their two sons, Corey and Josh."
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