BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Buffalo Sabres Hall of Famer and member of the famed French Connection, Rick Martin, has died.
It's believed Martin suffered a medical emergency while driving on Main Street near Salt Road in Clarence.
His vehicle then struck a pole.
The 59 year old Sabres legend was pronounced dead at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital.
The news of Martin's passing spread quickly among fans and former colleagues.
News 4 only spoke with one person who hadn't heard the news of Rick Martin. Martin is certainly being remembered and a moment of silence took place just before the puck drop.
State Police in Clarence say it happened on Main Street in Clarence on Sunday afternoon.
59 year old Rick Martin was slumped over the wheel just before the crash, according to witnesses who stopped to perform CPR to help before first responders arrived.
State Police said, "He kind of drifted across the eastbound lane onto the shoulder, striking a utility pole and then striking a parking stanction."
Martin was taking to Millard Fillmore Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was only a few miles from his home. Although he was reportedly headed westbound.
No one else was inured. Martin's dog was with him.
"We all know Rick, most of us golf with him. He is a great guy for Clarence, a great guy for western New York. He was an icon, added State Police.
The news traveled quickly throughout western New York and most hockey fans at HSBC Arena already knew before coming to see Sunday night's game.
One fan said, "It certainly is a sad day, they were just trying to get him back into the fold here. It's a shame. The French Connection is no more then."
"With the new ownership and everyone being so happy. And now it's just a sad day in Buffalo," added another fan.
Mark Weiz wore his #7 jersey for a chance to tribute the hockey great.
Weiz said, "He was the first 50 goal scorer in the history of the team and probably the greatest player this team has ever had. I was really bummed out about Rico."
You can imagine a lot of those French Connection memories are flooding in now for fans.
Please feel free to share your memories of the Sabres French Connection in the comment section below.
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