Reporting Reg Chapman
ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Friends are coming to the aid of a single father of six who was nearly killed trying to help others.
On Sunday night, Keith Barnes stopped along Interstate 94 to help at the scene of an accident. Then, a suspected drunken driver ran into him and two other people. That crash killed one man and critically injured Barnes and a woman.
The men who work at the Grooming House barber shop in St. Paul are missing one of their own.
“I almost turned around and told him something a few minutes ago just out of habit I usually have my back to him and I just say hey Keith and I realized that he wasn’t there and that’s tough, ” said Jibri Copeland.
A note taped to the chair and mirror at Keith Barnes’ station lets his clients and others know why he wasn’t cutting hair Tuesday.
Barnes was the Good Samaritan who stopped on I-94 to help an accident victim, only to become a victim himself.
“Typical Keith. Anytime anyone needs help he’s going to help them he’s going to figure out what’s wrong and what it is he can do to make it better, ” said Copeland.
Barnes was trying to do just that when he was hit.
His neck was broken in two places, his shoulder and both legs were also broken. Doctors had to amputate his left leg below the calf.
“Real fun loving guy, real entertaining guy to talk to, a family man,” said co-worker Damen Johnson. “It’s really sad when stuff like this happens.”
Now, these barbers hope people reach out to help the man who risked his life to help others.
They’re collecting donations at the barber shop to help Barnes continue to take care of his family.
“He got six kids: Three girls and three boys, one set of twins,” Johnson said.
These guys say Barnes is a friend to a lot of people, known for his large smile and quick wit. They are hoping for a speedy recovery so this band of brothers can be whole again.
Eugene Farrell was arrested at the scene of the crash for DWI and booked into the Ramsey County jail.
A fund has been set up to help Keith Barnes and his family. You can donate to the “Community fund for Keith Barnes” at any TCF Bank branch.