Man Dies in Country Crash on the Arner

The man killed Friday afternoon in a three-vehicle crash on Arner Townline in Essex was identified Saturday as 23-year-old Blake Clifford of Essex .

The accident, in which two other drivers were injured, happened at the Arner and  10th Concession.

At about 5:10 p.m. a red Chrysler Sebring, driven by Clifford according to police, rear-ended a GM black sedan travelling northbound on Arner Townline. The GM sedan might have been making a left-turn onto 10th Concession but police hadn't confirmed that on the weekend.

Police say the impact of the rear-end collision might have caused the Sebring to skid sideways into oncoming traffic going south. A southbound black Dodge Ram pickup truck slammed into the Sebring and climbed on top of the car, crushing it. The GM sedan came to rest about 200 feet north of the Sebring and truck crash site. The had spun 180 degrees around and was facing south in the northbound lane.

The coroner arrived at the scene at 7:40 p.m. Friday.

Greg Sartori, who lives across the street from the crash site, said he heard the crash and felt the vibrations from the impact of the cars.

They hit hard, he said. I knew they didn't hit the house but I could feel the vibrations.

There were flames underneath the Sebring that were difficult to extinguish, Sartori said.

The man driving the pickup stumbled out of his truck yelling, Where are the people? Sartori guessed that the man was referring to the driver of the Sebring. All that could be seen of the Sebring was its trunk and rear wheels. The rest of the car was under the truck, Sartori said.

No one came out of that red car, Sartori said.

The highway was strewn with debris including broken glass, the front and rear bumpers of the Sebring and the GM sedans bumper. The road reeked of the smell of gasoline and firefighters put a layer of foam beneath the raised pickup truck.

Penelope Markham, 53, was driving the black GM sedan and was taken to Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital, her boyfriend Robbin McLean said. The OPP said her injuries were non-life threatening. McLean returned to the accident scene to retrieve Markham's glasses because she couldn't see without them, he said. McLean had visited friends and was going to her home in Cottam when the accident happened, he said.

Arner Townline was closed to traffic from County Road 27 to Concession 9 for at least five hours Friday.

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