Butler County

Butler Eagle employee killed in crash days before retirement date; charges pending against driver

BUTLER COUNTY, Pa. — A New Castle man and long-time employee of the Butler Eagle is dead after a head-on crash early Thursday morning near the Butler County fairgrounds.

“He was just a really, really good guy with a very good moral compass and he’s really going to be missed by many,” said Tammy Schuey, the general manager of the Butler Eagle, telling 11 News about Jim Barge.

Barge, 65, was hit and killed on Route 422/New Castle Road in Franklin Township, just after 1 a.m.

“He had just left his shift here and was on his way home to New Castle when the accident happened,” said Schuey.

State Police say Kassandra Clyde, 24, crossed the center line and hit Barge head-on, killing him.

According to the police report, Clyde was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries, and charges of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence are pending against her.

“If that is the case, it’s very sad that carelessness like that caused the death of a man that we care about,” said Schuey.

Court filings show Clyde was arrested for DUI last April and completed an accelerated rehab program.

According to court records, the Butler County DA filed for the expungement of Clyde’s 2022 DUI charge on May 2, 2023.

Meanwhile, Barge was set to retire in less than two weeks, on May 16.

“He was very much looking forward to retirement and spending time with his wife Lisa, his children, and his grandchildren,” said Schuey.

Barge spent nearly ten years, in two separate stints, at the Eagle, working in the paper’s printing department.

“He had an entire career in the printing industry, working for multiple newspapers: the New Castle News, the Washington Post, the Youngstown Vindicator. He worked for many newspapers, not just ours,” Schuey said.

During this difficult time, Schuey says the Barge family is in the hearts and on the minds of everybody at the paper.

“I’ve spoken with his wife and it’s difficult, obviously,” she said. “We’ll continue to remain in touch with her and offer whatever help we can.”

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