Victim identified in fatal Copake car fire

From Columbia County Sheriff’s Office:



Copake, NY- Columbia County Sheriff David P. Bartlett provides an update to the fatal car fire in the Town of Copake on June 14th, 2019. The Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with pathologist Dr. Jeffrey Hubbard and Columbia County Corner Bernadette Powis, have identified the man who died in the fire. Thirty two year old Rudy Martinez of 543 North Mountain Road in the Town of Copake died when the vehicle he was sitting in caught fire. Mr. Martinez”s dog also perished in the fire. The 2006 Volkswagen was owned and registered by Martinez.

An autopsy was performed at Ellis Hospital on June 15, 2019 and the cause of death was determined to be “inhalation of fire gases”.

The investigation indicates the cause of the fire is not suspicious in nature; however, due to extensive fire damage to the vehicle, an exact cause cannot be determined at this time. Sheriff’s Investigators were assisted by NYS Office of Fire Prevention & Control with the fire investigation.

The investigation is continuing and Sheriff’s Office Investigators are awaiting lab and toxicology reports.

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