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Two Potsdam residents killed Thursday died from blunt force trauma


RAY BROOK - The two Potsdam residents who were killed in head-on collision Thursday afternoon in Ray Brook died from blunt force trauma, according to New York State Police.

They said Dr. Francis Varga performed an autopsy Friday on James E. Barney, 42, at Adirondack Medical Center Saranac Lake and determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma consistent with a motor vehicle collision. Essex County Coroner Francis Whitelaw ruled the manner of death to be homicide. Mr. Barney had been pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy was also performed Friday on Kimberly Barney, 38, at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt. Dr. Steven L. Shapiro, Vermont chief medical examiner, determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma consistent with a motor vehicle collision and the manner of death to be accidental. Ms. Barney had been taken to Adirondack Medical Center following the accident and was later airlifted to Fletcher Allen Health Care, where she died from her injuries.

Both deaths were a result of the collision on state Route 86 in the town of North Elba.

A third passenger, Emily Colby, 11, also of Potsdam, remains hospitalized in serious condition at Fletcher Allen Health Care.

New York State Police charged Trevor J. Sisto 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 Tuesday afternoon.

The investigation is continuing by the state police, including the Collision Reconstruction Unit, and the Lake Placid Police Department and the Essex County District Attorney’s Office.

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