Cause of man’s death in Sinclair accident still under investigation

Posted July 11, 2011, at 6:11 p.m.
Last modified July 11, 2011, at 8:54 p.m.

SINCLAIR, Maine — Investigators said Monday they had not yet determined the cause of death for a Madawaska man who crashed his vehicle into Long Lake on Friday.

The body of Gilberto Rentas, 27, a former Connecticut resident, was recovered from the lake and taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy after last Friday’s accident, which took place just before 12:30 p.m. on Route 162.

Sgt. Forrest Dudley of the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department said Monday that the cause of death was pending.

Dudley said Rentas was driving a 2008 Nissan Xterra southbound on Route 162 when the vehicle failed to negotiate a curve, went through the parking lot of the Long Lake Sporting Club, struck a boat launch, a dock and a boat, and ended up in the lake.

Dudley said Rentas died at the scene despite the efforts of volunteers who attempted to extricate him from the vehicle. His body was recovered by a diver from the Maine State Police.

The investigator said Monday that he had talked to an official from the Medical Examiner’s Office late in the day and that a cause of death for Rentas still was pending. A call to the office Monday afternoon was not immediately returned.

The vehicle, the boat launch, the dock and the boat involved in the incident all were destroyed.

“The case is still currently under investigation,” Dudley said Monday.