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Ray Twp. Clerk Dies in Combine Accident On Election Eve

MACOMB TWP. (WWJ) - A deadly accident in Macomb County involving a PT Cruiser and a farm combine killed the clerk in rural Ray Township, Mich., on the eve of election day.

A statement from the Macomb County Sheriff's Department says the farm combine was stopped on 27 Mile Road east of Hayes when the eastbound car collided with it just before 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

Kenneth Artman, 58, Ray Township clerk, who was standing next to the combine, was hit by the machine and died from his injuries at Henry Ford Hospital in Clinton Township.  Sheriff Anthony Wickersham says Artman was talking with the operator of the combine.

Artman's death will not affect Tuesday's election, according to Ray Township Deputy Clerk LuAnne Kandell.

"We'll still be holding the election as originally scheduled," Kandell said. "We're doing OK, it's a loss for everybody, he was a very nice man. But we're OK with the election."

The 64-year old Armada woman driving the PT Cruiser was taken to Mount Clemens Regional Hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Investigators say alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash.

"It appears it's a large piece of machinery and it took up both the westbound and eastbound lanes and as the vehicle approached it didn't know that the combine was in the eastbound lane," Wickersham said.

Wickersham said lights on the combine may have blinded the car driver.

The investigation is ongoing.

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