'Christmas Story' Director, Son Die in Car Crash
Filmmaker's other son Michael was at their apartment at the time
Both father, 67, and son, 22, were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle, Hector Valazquez-Nava, and his passenger were taken to a local medical center to be treated for minor injuries. Valazquez-Nava, who is still hospitalized, was booked for investigation of gross vehicular manslaughter, driving without a license and on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Clark is best known for producing, directing and co-writing the bitingly funny and nostalgic "A Christmas Story," which has become a staple of holiday viewing. Released in 1983, the film was adapted from humorist Jean Shepherd's novel about growing up in the 1940s. Peter Billingsley stars as Ralphie, a young boy intent on getting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas even though every has told him "You'll shoot your eye out."
The film contains numerous classic scenes, including Ralphie meeting a department store Santa, his besting of a local bully, a tongue sticking to a frozen flagpole, his father's leg lamp, helping his dad change the tire and decoding a message about Ovaltine.
Despite the beloved quality of his signature film, Clark actually began making a name for himself with horror films that included "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things," "Dead of Night" and "Black Christmas," which was remade in 2006. He also produced and directed the first two "Porky's" films and directed "Turk 182," "Rhinestone," "From the Hip," "Loose Cannons" and "Baby Geniuses."
Ariel Clark was an avid musician studying music composition at Santa Monica College and was a card dealer part time at a casino. His intention was to compose scores for films and video games.