PARISHVILLE - While the town of Parishville was celebrating its 200th birthday this past weekend, it was also mourning the loss of Kimberly A. (Randall) and James E. Barney.
Mr. and Mrs. Barney of Parishville were killed in an automobile accident Thursday afternoon, just days before what was to be a joyous occasion for the entire community.
Parishville Town Historian Joseph McGill said the Barneys were on the minds of people attending the weekend’s events.
“Kim and Jim were on our minds the whole weekend,” Mr. McGill said. “It broke the hearts of many people. They were certainly not forgotten.”
The two Parishville residents were killed and their child was critically injured Thursday afternoon in a automobile crash on Route 86, according to state police.
Mr. Barney, 42, a sergeant at the Bare Hill Correctional Facility, was dead at the scene, according to Essex County Coroner Francis Whitelaw. Ms. Barney, 38, was taken to Adirondack Medical Center and later flown to Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt., where she died of her injuries. Their daughter, Emily Colby, 11, also of Potsdam, was listed in serious condition this past weekend at Fletcher Allen Health Care.
State police said they located a Ford F-150, suspected of fleeing the scene of an earlier accident in Lake Placid, heading west on Route 86 about 1:30 p.m. Thursday at a high speed. When they tried to stop the vehicle as it approached Ray Brook, it crossed into the eastbound lane and collided head-on with a Honda Fit occupied by Mr. Barney, Ms. Barney and Miss Colby.
State police said their investigation indicates the suspect had been driving recklessly through Lake Placid and North Elba.
New York State Police charged Trevor J. Sisto, 20, of Fort Covington with a felony count of first-degree unlawfully fleeing a police officer and driving while ability impaired by drugs. He was also ticketed for reckless driving, failure to keep right and speeding.
Lake Placid Police also charged Sisto with first-degree attempted assault, reckless endangerment, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, leaving the scene of a personal injury motor vehicle accident, reckless driving and numerous vehicle and traffic violations.
He was arraigned in Lake Placid Village Court and North Elba Town Court and was sent to the Essex County Jail on $100,000 cash bail or $200,000 bond, to reappear this afternoon.
This past weekend marked Mrs. Barney’s 20th class reunion, as she graduated from Parishville-Hopkinton in 1994.
Class of 1994 President Robert King, who now resides in Troy, said that while Mrs. Barney and her husband did not RSVP to their class dinner, they were planning to attend the reunion later Saturday evening.
“This happened a day and a half before the reunion,” Mr. King said. “Kim and I were classmates.”
Mr. King said Parishville-Hopkinton’s Class of 1994 included roughly 45 students, many of whom attended the reunion on Saturday.
Looking back at his time spent in school with Ms. Barney, Mr. King said she was very well liked and got along with everyone.
“It was a really tight, family atmosphere,” he said. “Kim was always bright and cheery. If anyone in our class was a friend to everyone, it was Kim. She was very easy to get along with,” he said.
In her memory Mr. King and her fellow classmates have created an online account at gofundme.com.
“Every dollar is going to the kids,” he said. “We just felt like it was important to do something for their children.”
According to Ms. Barney’s obituary, she is survived by two stepchildren, Connor and Kathryn Barney, of Lisbon; as well as three children, Kayla Bedore, Rebecca Colby and Emily Colby.
Mr. King said the death of a classmate less than a week before the reunion set a somber tone for the event.
“It set kind of a somber tone for our reunion,” Mr. King said. “There was a lot of reminiscing. A lot of us were still in shock. It was all still very new. Kim was always seen around town and she’s gone now.”
As of 4:30 p.m. Monday the account had raised just over $1,800.
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