HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office will be handling the investigation into any possible policy violations relating to a Huntington teen being hit and killed by an off-duty deputy, according to the Cabell County Sheriff’s Office.
The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office was selected by the West Virginia Sheriff’s Association, according to Cabell County deputies.
They say that the West Virginia State Police will continue to do the crash investigation and reconstruction, while the Cabell County Sheriff’s Office will keep the vehicle in isolation. An out-of-county prosecutor is being assigned to handle the results of the WVSP’s investigation.
Friday marks one week since investigators say an off-duty Cabell County Sheriff’s deputy hit and killed 13-year-old Jacquline “Laney” Hudson at the intersection of 5th Ave. and 31st St. in Huntington on Friday, Dec. 30, 2022. Deputy Jeffrey Racer, who was behind the wheel of a cruiser is still on leave as the investigation continues.
West Virginia State Police plan to hand their findings from the cruiser’s black box and the scene reconstruction over to a prosecuting attorney.
Information from the cruiser’s black box was downloaded on Thursday.
The data downloaded from the black box is expected to show the speed Racer was traveling through the intersection. But officials also say, there’s still a possibility that information could come back “inconclusive.”
The speed limit along that area of US-60 is 35 mph.
On Sunday, Jan. 1, West Virginia State Police told 13 News that Racer was not intoxicated at the time of the incident and that he passed field sobriety tests on scene. According to WVSP Sergeant B.K. Wellman witnesses told police that the deputy had a green light at the intersection where the incident occurred.
As of now, Racer isn’t facing any charges and officials say – if this is deemed an accident – this incident is not a “jail-binding offense.”
At this time, it is not clear which county will handle the case should the Cabell County prosecutor recuse himself. If the prosecutor does decide to accept the case, a judge will need to approve the decision.
According to Laney’s family, her funeral will be Saturday afternoon, Jan. 7 at Chapmans Mortuary and Crematory in Huntington.