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Coroner Releases Preliminary Cause of Death for Strattanville Couple

Friday, February 26, 2021 @ 05:02 PM

Posted by Aly Delp

Image from iOS (2)HIGHLAND TWP., Pa. (EYT) – Additional details have been released in the investigation into the Strattanville couple discovered at a fatal accident scene just outside of Clarion on Saturday, February 20.

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

According to Clarion County Coroner Dan Shingledecker, investigators believe the vehicle where the bodies of Samuel Paine, 78, and Lucille Paine, 81, both of Strattanville, were found had actually crashed around noon on Wednesday, February 17.

Shingledecker said the preliminary cause of death for both individuals is hypothermia.


The couple were found in the vehicle on the evening of Saturday, February 20, while police and members of Clarion Fire & Hose Company No. 1 were searching for James Whitman, a Clarion University student who went missing on Friday night.

During a search of a wooded area near Toby Creek just off of Miola Road and McCleary Road in Highland Township, police found the crashed vehicle and the deceased bodies of Samuel Paine and Lucille Paine.

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

Authorities said previously that the two incidents are completely unrelated.

Shingledecker noted Whitman’s death is still under investigation, and the preliminary findings from his autopsy are not yet being released.

“I don’t have much to share yet. The police are still doing interviews and investigative work.”

A representative of the Marienville-based State Police also said Whitman’s death remains under active investigation.


Remembering James Whitman; Clarion University Mourns Death of Friend, Student

Autopsies Set for Monday for Deceased CU Student, Fatal Crash Victims

Bodies of Fatal Crash Victims, Missing Clarion U. Student Found Near Bigley Road

Clarion County Coroner Called to Scene of Missing Person Investigation

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