CABELL COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – The results from the black box in a Cabell County Sheriff’s Office cruiser driven by an off-duty deputy the night a teenager was struck and killed in Huntington are “inconclusive,” according to the Putnam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
According to Putnam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Sorsaia, due to the cruiser’s age, the airbag would have had to deploy for authorities to be able to get information from the black box, however the airbags did not deploy during the crash.
Sorsaia says officials are now waiting for information from the West Virginia State Medical Examiner’s Office to be able to move forward with both parts of the investigation.
Investigators with West Virginia State Police say off-duty Cabell County Sheriff’s deputy Jeffery Racer was behind the wheel of a cruiser that 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.
Days after the fatal crash, West Virginia State Police began working to get the cruiser’s black box, which at the time, they said would contain information about the crash, including how fast the vehicle was moving at the time of the incident.
WVSP created a reconstruction of the accident on Jan. 5 at the intersection. The investigators tell 13 News that Racer was not intoxicated and had a greenlight at the time of the crash.
The West Virginia Sheriffs Association has selected the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office to handle the investigation into any possible policy violations relating to the crash, and Sorsaia was assigned to look into “possible criminal charges” related to Laney’s death.
Since the night of the crash, Laney Hudson’s loved ones have been rallying in both Cabell County and Charleston, raising awareness and seeking answers into her death.