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Friday, 14 December 2012 11:03

Paraplegic man killed in vehicle fire

(MAYFIELD TOWNSHIP) -- Lapeer County Sheriff's deputies say a 49-year old Lapeer man lost his life after being trapped inside a burning vehicle Thursday evening. Authorities responded to the van on fire along Davis Lake Road west of N. Lapeer Road in Mayfield Township shortly before 6 p.m. The victim, Michael Clemens, was driving his 1997 Chevrolet van west on Davis Lake Road, when he pulled off the roadway onto the shoulder. Clemens was a paraplegic and his van was equipped with a wheel chair lift ramp. Deputies believe Clemens tried to escape because the van was found in park with the ramp in the lowered position. A passing 19-year old motorist attempted to free Clemens. The Lapeer man's efforts were unsuccessful and he suffered burns to both wrists, but declined treatment at the scene. Deputies say the vehicle was fully engulfed when emergency crews arrived and Clemens was the lone occupant. The origin of the fire remains under investigation.