Man dies after trying to cross road on lawnmower; granddaughter, driver injured

Posted:  Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 3:00pm

UNITY — A Unity man died of his injuries overnight after he and his granddaughter were struck by an SUV while attempting to cross the road on a riding lawnmower. 

The crash, which occurred at 317 Albion Road (Route 202), was reported to Waldo County Dispatch at 4:27 p.m. Wednesday, according to Waldo County Sheriff Jeff Trafton. 

Clement Blakney, 66, was riding the lawnmower away from his home with his granddaughter, 5, when the crash occurred. Both were transported to Maine General Health for treatment of their injuries, where Blakney died overnight. Trafton said reports are that [the girl], “is going to be okay.” 

The driver of the northbound Nissan SUV, Nicole Ellis, 46, of Fairfield, was also transported to Maine General Health for treatment of her injuries. Though he has not been updated on the seriousness of Ellis’ injuries, Trafton said ambulance personnel on the scene believed her injuries to be non-life-threatening. 

Trafton said law enforcement is unsure of why Blakney was crossing the road 

“We don’t know yet why, and I don’t know that we’ll be able to [know] because he passed away before we could talk to him,” he said.

The crash is in the “very early” stages of an ongoing investigation, according to Trafton.

“The state police are assisting with the investigation; they provided us a reconstruction expert and they were coming back to the scene to do more work today,” he said. 

Traffic was diverted around the scene of the crash by Unity Fire Department. 

Erica Thoms can be reached at