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2 fired for accessing Rick Martin files

Two employees of Independent Health were fired after they gained access to the emergency medical records of Sabres legend Rick Martin, who was apparently stricken before crashing his car in Clarence last Sunday, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Frank J. Sava, a spokesman for Independent Health, said privacy concerns prevented him from discussing particulars of the case. But he did confirm that two employees were fired last week for "accessing medical records inappropriately."

"Protecting our members' personal health information is paramount at Independent Health, and we have zero tolerance for this type of violation," Sava said.

An autopsy performed determined the Sabres great died of heart disease, State Police reported last week.

Martin, who was 59 and a Newstead resident, was driving west on Main Street in Clarence shortly after noon Sunday when he suffered an apparent medical emergency, lost control of his sedan and went off the road, State Police said.

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.

e-mail: rmccarthy@buffnews.com