Man charged in hit-and-run that killed Worlds of Fun employee - KCTV5

Man charged in hit-and-run that killed Worlds of Fun employee

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Joseph Holliway Joseph Holliway
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Police have made an arrest in a hit-and-run case that killed a Worlds of Fun employee walking home from work, and it is who turned the man in that is raising eyebrows.

A trucker found the body of 31-year-old James D. Barker in a ditch along Highway 210 near Searcy Creek Parkway last Thursday. Police pleaded for tips.

Authorities received two tips this week, including one from the suspect's wife, who also told police he was cheating on her.

Prosecutors filed charges Wednesday against 55-year-old Joseph Holliway. He has been charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident and first-degree property damage.

"That just boggles my mind," said Sabrena Allison, who lives next door to Holliway.

Allison was shaken to hear what he has been accused of.

"It's a heavy burden to hurt someone like that and kill them," she said.

Last Tuesday, someone called 911 about the hit-and-run, but police found nothing until a trucker, who had stopped to re-adjust his load, discovered a body in the brush.

Police say Barker was walking home from his job at Worlds of Fun. A witness told them Barker was well off the road, partly in the grass, when a truck jumped the median and hit him.

Witnesses told police the driver of the truck was a white man with shoulder-length scraggly hair.

The break in the case came at Holliway's property, less than a mile from the hit-and-run site.

The call was for a disturbance, and Holliway's wife gave police an earful.

She told police he came home last Tuesday shaken and told her he had hit a light pole.

She said she drove him back, where he exclaimed, "Oh my God, I see something blue, I think I hit someone."

She then went on to say that she was preparing to leave her husband because he was having an affair with another woman.

"I'm glad that his wife finally said something. I'm sorry it took that to happen to finally say something. I wish he'd have been a little more of a man and said, 'I think I hit this person' and came and turned himself in," Allison said.

Police later talked to the suspect's mistress, who indicated he uses methamphetamine to stay awake in his night job and sometimes blacks out when he is not using.

Investigators say they then spoke to Holliway, who denied a meth addiction and told officers he was not using the night of the crash.

Holliway said last time he used was July 20, but he had used meth every day after hearing about Barker's death because he was upset.

His bond has been set at $75,000.

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