Councilwoman returns to City Hall

JOHNSTOWN – Third Ward Councilwoman Helen Martin returned to her Common Council duties Monday night, just over a month after the fatal accident she was in that claimed the life of her husband.

Local attorney Russell Martin, 57, of 9 E. Montgomery St., was killed in the two-vehicle, May 11 crash in Little Falls, state police said. His wife, Martin of the same address, was a passenger and survived.

Mrs. Martin, her arm in a sling, met with Mayor Michael Julius to go over some city issues just prior to the council’s meeting Monday night at City Hall. She told fellow city officials and well-wishers she was feeling “OK,” and she participated throughout the session.

“Physically, I’m coming along,” the 63-year-old Martin said today. “Basically, things right now are one day at a time.”

She has some arm and chest medical issues she’s dealing with, she said. Martin is also not quite back fully to her job in the office at Milligan & Higgins in Johnstown. Martin, a former mayoral candidate who currently chairs the city’s Tourism and Special Events Committee, said it is “way too early” to tell if she will continue her political work. Her current council term expires December 2015.

Martin said the support for her in the Johnstown community has been “overwhelming.”

The Martins’ accident occurred at 5:10 p.m. May 11 on Route 5 on the eastern side of Little Falls. Russell Martin was the driver of their eastbound 2001 Ford Escape. The SUV was struck head-on by a westbound 2014 Buick Lacrosse operated by Francis Kiniry, 83, of Syracuse. Also in his car was his wife – Kathleen Kiniry, 87 – of the same Syracuse address.

Russell Martin was pronounced dead at the scene, troopers said. Helen Martin was taken to Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown and later discharged. The Kinirys were transported to Bassett Hospital, where they were being treated for serious injuries

Trooper Mark Cepiel, a state police spokesman, said no one was ticketed in the crash.