July 2, 2013

Motorcycle crash claims life of 86-year-old man


---- — BEEKMANTOWN — An elderly Chazy man died Monday as the result of a motorcycle-car crash the day before.

At 2:25 p.m. Sunday, New York State Police investigated an accident on Route 9 near Point au Roche Road in the Town of Beekmantown.

Leo J. Cote, 86, had been riding a 2008 Yamaha motorcycle and had pulled over on the west shoulder of Route 9, facing south.

State Police said Cote then attempted to enter the roadway and struck the side of a 2008 Ford Edge driven by Ernesto C. Rodriguez, 42, of Chazy, who was also headed south.

Cote was taken to CVPH Medical Center by ambulance.

State Police were informed Monday that he had died, according to Bureau of Criminal Investigation Capt. Robert LaFountain.

Clinton County Coroner David F. Donah was notified and ordered an autopsy, which was conducted by Dr. Jolie Rodriguez.

The cause of death was determined to be blunt-force trauma, State Police said, and the death was ruled accidental.

The accident remains under investigation by the New York State Police and the Clinton County District Attorney’s Office.

“As is the case with every fatal accident, at the conclusion of the investigation, we will consult with the District Attorney’s Office to determine what, if any, charges are applicable,” LaFountain said.

Cote, who graduated from Chazy Central Rural School in 1945, is survived by his wife, Alice. Their son, Brian J. Cote, also lives in Chazy.

“Almost everybody in Chazy knew them,” Rob Fountain, a former neighbor, said of the Cotes.

“He was a nice man,” Fountain added, remembering Leo as a good neighbor who performed simple acts of kindness.

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