Cause of death of Madawaska accident victim still pending

Posted Aug. 24, 2011, at 4:01 p.m.

SINCLAIR, Maine — More than seven weeks after a 27-year-old Madawaska man died after crashing his vehicle into Long Lake, officials at the state medical examiner’s office are still working to determine a cause of death.

An official at the medical examiner’s office said Wednesday that a cause of death for Gilberto Rentas, 27, is still pending.

Rentas was a former Connecticut resident who worked at a Tim Hortons coffee shop in Madawaska. His body was recovered from Long Lake a short time after the July 8 accident. The crash took place just before 12:30 p.m. on Route 162.

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

Witnesses who were near the accident scene said that Rentas’ rental car traveled at a high rate of speed toward the lake and there were no signs that brakes were applied before the vehicle veered into the water.

Rentas died at the scene despite the efforts of volunteers who attempted to extricate him from the vehicle. His body was recovered in approximately 15 feet of water by a Maine State Police diver.

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

Rentas’ body was immediately taken to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.

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