PARISHVILLE — While the town of Parishville was celebrating its 200th birthday this past weekend, it was also mourning the loss of James E. and Kimberly A. Randall Barney.
Mr. and Mrs. Barney, of Parishville, were killed in an automobile crash Thursday afternoon in Ray Brook, just days before what was to be a joyous occasion for the entire community. Mrs. Barney’s daughter Emily Colby, 11, was critically injured in the crash. Mr. and Mrs. Barney also leave four other children.
“Kim and Jim were on our minds the whole weekend,” Town Historian Joseph R. McGill said. “It broke the hearts of many people. They were certainly not forgotten.”
This past weekend marked Mrs. Barney’s 20th class reunion, as she graduated from Parishville-Hopkinton Central School in 1994.
Class of 1994 president Robert King, who now lives 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.
“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 about 45 students, many of whom attended the reunion Saturday.
Looking back at his time spent in school with Mrs. 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 fellow classmates have created an online account at gofundme.com. The page can be viewed at http://www.gofundme.com/c4xz98.
“Every dollar is going to the kids,” he said. “We just felt like it was important to do something for their children.”
According to Mrs. Barney’s obituary, she is survived by three daughters, Kayla Bedore, Rebecca Colby and Emily Colby, of Parishville, and two stepchildren, Conor and Kathryn Barney of Lisbon.
Mr. King said the death of a classmate less than a week before the reunion set a somber tone for the event.
“There was a lot of reminiscing,” he said. “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 7 p.m. Monday the account had raised just over $2,000.
Mr. and Mrs. Barney were killed Thursday afternoon in an automobile crash on Route 86 in Ray Brook, according to state police.
Mr. Barney, 42, a sergeant at the Bare Hill Correctional Facility, Malone, was dead at the scene, according to Essex County Coroner Francis Whitelaw. Mrs. Barney, 38, was taken to Adirondack Medical Center, Saranac Lake, and later flown to Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt., where she died of her injuries. Emily Colby was listed in serious condition this weekend at Fletcher Allen Health Care.
State police said they located a Ford F-150, suspected of fleeing the scene of an earlier accident at Lake Placid, heading west at a high speed on Route 86 about 1:30 p.m. Thursday. 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. and Mrs. Barney and Emily Colby.
State police said their investigation indicated the suspect had been driving recklessly through Lake Placid and North Elba.
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 charged with reckless driving, failure to keep right and speeding.
Lake Placid police also charged him with first-degree attempted assault, reckless endangerment, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, reckless driving and numerous vehicle and traffic violations.
He was being held in the Essex County Jail, Lewis.