Family of 13-Year-Old Killed by Off-Duty Sheriff’s Deputy Files Federal Lawsuit in West Virginia, Igniting Complex Legal Battle
The family of Jacqueline “Laney” Hudson, a 13-year-old girl who was struck and killed by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy’s cruiser in West Virginia, has filed a federal lawsuit against the former officer and other county officials. The incident, which occurred in December 2022, has sparked a complex legal battle.
Opal Slone, Jacqueline’s mother, accuses former Cabell County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeffrey Racer of speeding at the time of the incident that resulted in her daughter’s untimely death. The lawsuit alleges that Racer did not have the authority to exceed the speed limit, as he was not responding to an emergency at the time. This, the lawsuit argues, was a violation of his duty to operate his vehicle prudently.
Beyond the speeding accusation, the lawsuit also alleges that Racer failed to render proper aid to Jacqueline after the accident. The nature of this alleged failure is not detailed in the lawsuit, but it adds another layer of complexity and contention to the case.
Cleared of Criminal Charges but Facing a Civil Suit
Despite the serious allegations leveled against him, Racer was cleared of criminal charges earlier in 2023. Following the incident, he was placed on administrative leave and ultimately resigned a few months later. This recent lawsuit, however, brings the incident back to the forefront, though this time in a civil rather than criminal context.
The family is seeking compensation for the extreme physical, mental, and emotional pain they have suffered due to the loss of their daughter. The lawsuit also seeks to cover pecuniary loss, though the specific amount is not specified.
The Impact on the Community
The death of Jacqueline Hudson and the ensuing legal proceedings have had a significant impact on the local community. The incident has raised questions about the responsibilities of law enforcement officers, even when off-duty, and the potential repercussions of their actions. As the lawsuit progresses, it will likely continue to stir debate and demand attention, both within West Virginia and potentially on a national scale.
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