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Northland man accused in fatal hit-and-run on Missouri 210

Updated: 2013-08-01T04:31:02Z

By CHRISTINE VENDEL

The Kansas City Star

Kansas City police arrested a 53-year-old man early Wednesday in connection with a fatal hit-and-run that killed a pedestrian on Missouri 210 near Searcy Creek Parkway last week.

Clay County prosecutors charged Joseph C. Holliway of Kansas City, North, with involuntary manslaughter, leaving the scene of a wreck and property damage. He remained in jail Wednesday afternoon in lieu of a $75,000 bond.

Police received two anonymous tips that Holliway could be responsible for the wreck that killed James D. Barker, 31, on July 23 as Barker walked home from his job at Worlds of Fun.

Court records gave this account:

Barker was wearing a blue shirt and walking with one foot in the grass and one on the shoulder to distance himself from traffic when a witness saw a white truck pulling a trailer strike Barker about 7 p.m. The witness called 911, but when police arrived, they didn’t see evidence of a wreck.

Barker’s body was found two days later by a motorist who stopped along the highway exit.

Holliway’s wife called police to their home Monday night during an argument they were having about the hit-and-run wreck. She told police Holliway came home the night of July 23 “visibly shaken.” He told her he had hit a light pole. They had driven back to the scene, where Holliway reportedly saw something blue in the tall grass.

“Oh my God!” he reportedly said. “I think I hit someone.”

They left without calling police.

The wife told police Holliway frequently used methamphetamine to stay awake on the job and he sometimes “blacked out” behind the wheel.

Hollliway told police he blacked out and came to just before hitting the utility pole. He stopped and moved the pole out of the road. He told police he thought he might have hit someone, but since he wasn’t sure, he didn’t make a call.

He didn’t report the accident because he didn’t want to have to pay for the broken pole, which is worth thousands of dollars.

He saw news coverage of the fatal wreck July 25 but didn’t call police because he was scared.

To reach Christine Vendel, call 816-234-4438 or send email to cvendel@kcstar.com.

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