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Firefighter Killed After Shift In Three-Vehicle Crash

Firefighter Killed After Shift In Three-Vehicle Crash

Clark was returning home (to house in background) after his shift at IFD Station 6 on Thursday when his car was struck from behind by a van, then hit by this pickup on Ind. 267 north of Brownsburg. No one else was hurt, an IFD spokeswoman said.

Indianapolis Star via YellowBrix

September 24, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS – An Indianapolis firefighter who had finished with his shift and was about to pull into his driveway was killed Thursday in a three-vehicle accident north of Brownsburg.

Duane E. Clark, 35, died in the accident just before 8 a.m. on Ind. 267 just south of Hendricks County Road 900 North. Clark was a nine-year Indianapolis Fire Department veteran who worked at Station 6, 1599 E. 86th St.

Clark’s death drew an outpouring of grief among fellow firefighters, who escorted his flag-draped body to a nearby hospital. A memorial fund has been established in his name.

Hendricks County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Jim Yetter said Clark was northbound on Ind. 267, waiting to turn left into the driveway, when a van also heading north clipped Clark’s car from behind.

The impact pushed Clark into oncoming traffic, where his vehicle collided with a pickup truck pulling a trailer.

Clark had ended his shift and was returning home when the crash occurred. The sound of the wreck could be heard inside his home and his parents’ home next door, said Capt. Rita Burris, IFD spokeswoman.

“They knew almost immediately it was Duane,” Burris said in a release.

A lifelong Brownsburg resident, Clark was a graduate of Cardinal Ritter High School and Indiana University. Clark and his wife, Kate, have 3-year-old twins, Mason and Molly.

The Clarks were to celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary Saturday.

As Brownsburg firefighters arrived at the crash scene, they found firefighter’s gear and an IFD badge among the wreckage, Burris said.

Firefighters held an impromptu ceremony, draping an American flag over Clark’s body before leading a procession to Hendricks Regional Health, Yetter said.

Mayor Greg Ballard said in a prepared statement that Clark’s “commitment to serving the City of Indianapolis and protecting its citizens is deserving of our respect. Together we remember and honor his service and keep his surviving loved ones in our hearts and prayers.”

The driver of the van that struck Clark’s car, identified as Jennifer Pence, 34, was unhurt, as were the four members of a landscaping crew in the pickup truck, Burris said.

Yetter said the investigation is ongoing and no traffic citations have been issued.