“It is shocking,” said Rep. Diane Lanpher, D-Vergennes, who had been Clark’s colleague in the two-seat Addison-3 Vermont House district for the past four years.
“Oh my God, he was such a nice man,” she said.
Indeed, Clark was known as a gregarious, conscientious man both at the Statehouse and in the halls of Mount Abe, where he built a solid rapport with other lawmakers and his students.
“When he stood up on the House floor, he would make a comment that was not only germane to the issue, but that also made everyone laugh,” said Lanpher of her colleague. Clark and Lanpher easily won re-election to new two-year terms earlier this month.
Clark previously served on the Vergennes City Council and was deputy mayor. He was also a teacher at Mount Abraham Union High School, where he taught social studies since 1994. He leaves behind his wife Eileen, a teacher at Vergennes Union High School, and two children.
UPDATE: According to a news release from the Vermont State Police, visibility was poor at the time of the crash. Todd Garthaffner, 41, of Addison pulled over to warn Clark about the conditions, after which Clark pulled his car further into the road's shoulder. Garthaffner subsequently sustained minor injuries in the crash. VSP also reported that CPR was administered to Clark at the scene, and he was pronounced dead at Porter Hospital.
Rolf Trinkner, 74, was driving the vehicle which struck Clark but did not sustain injuries. The investigation into the crash is ongoing and the Addison County State's Attorney has been notified.
Statement from Speaker Shap Smith:
I am deeply saddened to learn of Representative Greg Clark’s death. Greg’s passion was working with young Vermonters to ensure that they had a better life. He brought that passion with him to the legislature and was an extremely effective advocate for young people. His humor and warmth were felt by all and his passing is a great loss for all of us. I extend my sincere condolences to Greg’s family and friends.
Gov. Peter Shumlin:
I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing this morning of Rep. Greg Clark, and my heart goes out to his wife, Eileen, and their children. Greg always put the needs of his constituents first in his State House work, and was committed to improving schools for Vermont’s children as a teacher and member of the House Education Committee. More than anything, I will miss Greg’s smile, his sense of humor and his friendship at the State House.
Vermont Democratic Party Chair Jake Perkinson:
I am deeply saddened to hear of Representative Greg Clark’s passing. He was a jubilant and thoughtful leader who brought dedication everyday to his work in the House Education Committee. We send our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.