QUEENSBURY-Mark A. Topoleski, 24, of Olmstedville, died the morning of April 15 in what the Warren County Sherriff's Office preliminarily believes to be an accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Topoleski had been sleeping in a vehicle with a leaking exhaust system, police said.
Anthony Gereau was Topoleski's best friend. Originally from Newcomb, Anthony was reached for comment in Colorado where he is currently stationed in the Army. He remembered Topoleski as a gregarious person with an outgoing personality.
"[Topoleski] was the life of the party," Anthony said. "He always had a smile on his face. He was the kind of guy who, it didn't matter if it was snowing outside, would take his shirt off for you. That was the kind of guy he was."
Rhonda Gereau, Anthony's step-mom, said Topeleski came to her house often.
"He's just very well mannered and very well put-together," Rhonda said. "He's just a wonderful person, he really was. [He had] the most beautiful blue eyes in the world."
The Warren County Sheriff's Office said on April 15 at 9:38 a.m. they responded to 113 Meadowbrook Road in the town of Queensbury for a report of a young male who was found to be unresponsive in a motor vehicle that was parked in a driveway.
Police said preliminary investigation showed Topoleski, of 32 Smith Road, Olmstedville, had been out in the Glens Falls area with friends and then took a cab service back to 113 Meadowbrook Road at approximately 2:30 a.m. It is believed Topoleski got in his vehicle, which is a 1991 Honda Accord, turned on the engine and turned the climate control to the heat position.
Warren County Undersheriff Robert Swan was unsure why Topoleski slept in his car.
"It's an unknown at this point," Swan said.
At about 9:30 a.m., the homeowner noticed the vehicle was running with Topoleski inside, police said. The homeowner believed Topoleski was sleeping and didn't immediately go and check on him. When he did check on him,Topoleski was unresponsive and CPR was initiated.
Police said Topoleski was pronounced dead at the scene. Results of a preliminary toxicology test showed a lethal level of carbon monoxide present inTopoleski's blood stream.
Police said they examined the vehicle and found extremely high levels of carbon monoxide inside. The gas was believed to be entering the vehicle due to a leaking exhaust system. There was minimal ventilation of fresh air inside the vehicle due to the fact the windows were closed and the climate control system was in the "re-circulate" position.
"It's still an open investigation until we see the full coroner's report, including the toxicology report," Swan said.
But at this time the death is believed to be accidental in nature, he said.
"[Topoleski] was just a very generous guy,"Anthony said. "He was amazing to have around."