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Bomb Survivor Death Ruled Suicide

February 16, 2000 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A former Army recruiter who survived the 1995 federal building bombing and later testified against Timothy McVeigh committed suicide by crashing his rented plane, the medical examiner has determined.

The conclusion was cited in a recently released report by the National Transportation and Safety Board.

Laurence Martin’s plane went down near an Oklahoma City church Oct. 11, 1998. According to the report, Martin’s girlfriend, who was attending services at the church, had reportedly turned down his marriage proposal the day before.

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The report said Martin, 41, also ignored a request from the plane’s owner, who thought Martin had taken off too fast, that he return to the airport immediately. The NTSB said the control tower relayed the message and Martin acknowledged receiving it, but he did not return.

An inspection of the Cessna 172 less than a month before the crash had found no problems, and witnesses said the plane’s engine was running when it plowed into the ground.

Toxicology tests conducted on Martin’s body after the crash detected diazepam, a drug commonly known as Valium that is used to relieve anxiety, nervousness and tension, the report said. The FAA does not approve the use of diazepam by pilots.