LAKE GEORGE - An elderly New Hampshire man died at about 8:40 p.m. Sunday night after the pickup truck he was driving veered off Rte. 9N in Lake George and struck two trees.
Police said Tuesday Richard E. Aulis, 83, of Lyme NH may have died from a heart-related problem rather than the crash, however.
Initial findings of an autopsy performed Monday at Glens Falls Hospital indicated Aulis likely died from heart failure rather than the impact, police said.
Warren County Sheriff's Department authorities said Tuesday that police in New Hampshire had broadcast a missing persons report at about the same time the accident occurred, and that family members had been trying to locate Aulis, who was afflicted with Alzheimer's disease.
The highway was slick with snow and sleet at the time of the accident. But there were no skid marks left in the snow, which factored in the determination that he was likely to have been unconscious at the time of the crash, police said.
Aulis was driving his 2005 GMC pick up truck northbound on Route 9N just east of the Roaring Brook Resort, police said, when his vehicle left the highway on the east shoulder, went into a ditch, sideswiped one tree, and struck a second tree head-on. Aulis' vehicle was equipped with air bags and he was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. He was pronounced dead at the scene by county Coroner William Orluk.
Warren County Sheriff's department officers and personnel of the Lake George Fire Department and Lake George Emergency Squad responded.