JEFFERSON — A two-vehicle crash in Jefferson claimed the life of one this afternoon, according to Department of Public Safety officials.

"This afternoon at approximately 1:40, troopers responded to a two-vehicle fatal crash on SH-43, just south of Lewis Chapel Road, approximately twelve miles from the city of Jefferson in Marion county," DPS Sgt. Jean Dark reported.

The preliminary crash investigation revealed that the driver of a Ford F-150 was traveling northbound on State Highway 43 and struck the back of a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu driven by Clarence Whitaker, 61, of Jefferson who was also traveling northbound.

"The impact caused the Chevrolet to go into a side skid and travel off the roadway to the left where it rolled several times before coming to rest," said Dark. "The Ford traveled off the roadway to the right where it continued until striking a tree and becoming engulfed in flames."

The driver of the Ford was pronounced at the scene by Judge Lex Jones and taken to Haggard Funeral Home in Jefferson. Dark said troopers are still working to identify the deceased driver and make notification to next of kin.

"Whitaker was transported to Christus Good Shepard – Marshall in serious condition," said Dark. "The crash remains under investigation and more information will be released as it becomes available and is verified."