Driver involved in fatal officer crash: 'I did something stupid'

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NEW CASTLE, Pa. - State police said a woman who crashed into a Shenango Township Police cruiser, killing one officer inside, told investigators she "did something stupid" and didn't stop for police because her license was suspended.

According to the criminal complaint, Kylee Barletto, 25, was charged with manslaughter and other crimes for the crash that killed Shenango Township Police Officer William J. "Jerry" McCarthy IV on Thursday night.

McCarthy and his partner, Officer Michael Lynch, responded while state police were chasing Barletto, who was reportedly driving erratically and was known to have a suspended license.

State police said the township officers were positioned near Cascade Street and Warren Avenue in New Castle when Barletto's car smashed into their car at approximately 10 p.m. Thursday.

McCarthy died on the way to the hospital. Lynch, who was rushed to an area hospital, was released by 10 a.m. Friday. Barletto was taken to a trauma center in Ohio.

State police are investigating because the case involves police from two local departments.

Witness Maryann Charles told Channel 11 News that she was devastated when she found out McCarthy had died.

"One of the troopers came in to get some information from me and he told me that (McCarthy) was in serious condition. Then another trooper came in and said he died. It was horrible," Charles said.

Donna Petrello lives at the intersection where the crash occurred, and said she saw paramedics try to save McCarthy.

"It's terrible. Everybody was praying for him. I feel terrible, I can't believe the girl was running from him," Petrello said.

Becky George, a friend of Barletto's, told Channel 11's Lori Houy that she thinks police were chasing someone else.

"She was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I know they weren't chasing her," George said. "She's not a bad person. I'm sorry, she wouldn't have done this on purpose."

George said she was on the phone with Barletto, who was on her way home from work, when the accident happened.

"There was no, 'Oh my God, I'm being chased by the police,'" George said. "She's not a terrible person. It was a terrible, terrible accident."