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Ray Brook accident claims lives of two Potsdam residents


RAY BROOK - Two Potsdam residents were killed in a Thursday afternoon hit-and-run accident in Ray Brook, and an 11-year-old passenger is listed in critical condition at Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt.

James E. Barney, 42, was pronounced dead at the scene by Essex County Coroner Francis Whitelaw. A front seat passenger, Kim Barney, 38, was taken to Adirondack Medical Center and later airlifted to Fletcher Allen Health Care, where she died from her injuries.

A rear seat passenger, Emily Colby, 11, also of Potsdam, was airlifted from the scene to Fletcher Allen Health Care, where she is currently undergoing surgery for multiple injuries and is listed in critical condition.

New York State Police said they were contacted around 1:30 p.m. by the Lake Placid Police Department to request assistance in locating a vehicle that was involved in a hit-and-run accident in the village of Lake Placid.

Troopers said they located the vehicle traveling westbound on state Route 86 at a high rate of speed. When they attempted to stop the vehicle as it approached the hamlet of Ray Brook, it entered the eastbound lane and collided head on with a Honda Fit that was traveling east. Both vehicles exited the north side of the highway where they came to rest.

The suspect, who was not identified by troopers, was taken into custody. Mr. Barney, Ms. Barney and Miss Colby, the three occupants of the Honda were trapped and were extricated by Lake Placid and Saranac Lake Fire and Rescue personnel.

The State Police Aviation and Collision Reconstruction Unit responded to the scene. Troopers said the preliminary investigation indicates the operator of the Ford F-150 had been involved in other accidents prior to this collision, and had been operating in an extremely reckless manner through the village of Lake Placid and town of North Elba.

Troopers were continuing to investigate the accident Thursday evening.

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