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Driver killed after car plunges into river

Investigators have released the name of the man who drowned in the Kentucky River Thursday.  He was 90-year-old Martin Paez from Lexington.

Picture from Officer Don on 27 SKYFIRST

Investigators have released the name of the man who drowned in the Kentucky River Thursday. He was 90-year-old Martin Paez from Lexington.

His neighbors say he would drive to visit his wife at her nursing home each day, sometimes twice a day, so they could eat together. They think he may have been trying to visit her Thursday when his car went into the river.

"We were just shocked and saddened, very saddened," said neighbor Sue Kring. She called Paez a devoted husband, and quiet man.

"They've just been wonderful and Martin was great to work in his yard. He liked to mow and he mowed until a couple years ago."

Thursday around noon, Paez drove his car into the Kentucky River, at the very spot the Valley View Ferry picks up passengers. Witnesses said his Cadillac was driving very slowly along the ramp, went into the water, floated for just a minute, and went under before anyone could get him out of the car.

"They could not get him to get out, could not get him to come out or roll the window down, whatever. Took the window out, tried to reach in and pull him out. Basically they couldn't get him out of the vehicle," said Jessamine Fire Chief Michael Rupard.

Paez's widow told investigators her husband, just recently, would get confused, and had difficulty remembering things. The coroner's office does not plan to send his body to Frankfort for an autopsy.


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