Bodies of Fatal Crash Victims, Missing Clarion U. Student Found in Clarion County

| February 21, 2021

james-whitmanHIGHLAND TWP., Pa. (EYT) – In what seems to be a bizarre coincidence, authorities found the bodies of a Strattanville couple at a fatal accident scene just outside of Clarion on Saturday moments before finding the body of a missing Clarion University student in the same area.

(PHOTO ABOVE: James Whitman. Provided photo.)

Clarion-based State Police said they received a call Saturday around 1:14 p.m. reporting James Whitman, a Clarion University student, went missing overnight.

The investigation led authorities to the area of Miola Road and McCleary Road in Highland Township, Clarion County, where troopers and members of Clarion Fire & Hose Company No. 1 searched a wooded area near Toby Creek.

Bigley Road near its intersection with Miola Road. The road was closed for several hours while police investigated.

Bigley Road near its intersection with Miola Road. The road was closed for several hours while police investigated.

While searching for Whitman, police found a crashed vehicle and the deceased bodies of Samuel Paine, 78, and Lucille Paine, 81, both of Strattanville.

Police said the bodies were found near Bigley Road and Toby Creek Bridge. The nature of the incident is listed as a fatal crash. It is unknown when the accident occurred.

Whitman’s body was found nearby approximately 100 feet above the Toby Creek Bridge on Bigley Road.

His death is listed as accidental.

Bigley Road, Highland Township, Clarion County. Pin drop is not the exact location.

Bigley Road, Highland Township, Clarion County. Pin drop is not the exact location.

Clarion County Coroner Dan Shingledecker was subsequently dispatched to the scene which is located approximately 1/2 mile north of the Toby Bridge over the Clarion River and the border of Clarion Borough and Highland Township.

The two incidents are believed to be unrelated.

Bigley Road was closed for several hours while authorities searched the area and investigated. The road remained closed as of late Saturday evening but has since reopened.

Bauer Truck Repair was called around 7:00 p.m. to remove the crashed vehicle from the scene.

No further details are being released at this time.

The investigation is ongoing.


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