Community devastated after Unity man dies in lawnmower crash
UNITY (WGME) – A grandfather was killed, and his 5-year-old granddaughter is hospitalized, after the lawnmower they were on collided with an SUV on Route 202 in Unity.
People in Unity say Clem Blakney was a good man who loved working at his winery.
Thursday night, people in town say his death is a loss to the community.
"The people in town are devastated," Selectman Penny Sampson said.
Just about everybody in town says they knew 66-year-old Clem Blakney.
“Of course, he always had this huge infectious smile and you know, gave me his usual Clem hug," Sampson said.
Blakney, a former selectman, spent his time working at his winery, "Younity Winery," and promoting local businesses.
"He lives just up the road from me, so he would go by in his truck every day and honk and wave," Sampson said.
On Wednesday, investigators say Blakney was crossing Albion Road on his lawn mower with his five-year-old granddaughter when they were struck by an SUV.
The driver of the SUV, Blakney and his five-year-old grandchild were all taken to the hospital.
Blakney did not survive.
"I got a Facebook notification that somebody had just heard that he had passed,” Sampson said. “I waited until I actually saw it on the news."
The Waldo County Sheriff says it appeared the driver of the SUV was not speeding at the time of the crash.
Sampson says the collision happened on one of the worst hills on the road.
"Anybody that's lived here is familiar with that hill, and that it comes up, and is a blind drive right there," Sampson said.
According to the sheriff’s office, the driver and child are expected to recover, but Sampson says Unity will take a while to recover from the loss of a good man.
"He was energetic and thoughtful and a caring man,” Sampson said.
The Waldo County Sheriff’s Office says the accident is still under investigation.