FORT GAY, W.Va. -- A Kentucky man drove more than a foot off the roadway before striking and killing a 6-year-old girl in Wayne County on Saturday, police said.
Brandon M. Cornette, 29, of Inez, Ky., was charged with misdemeanor manslaughter, but is facing felony charges after police said a preliminary test showed he may have been using oxycodone.
At 7:45 p.m. on Saturday, Wayne County Deputy R.A. Pratt responded to a child struck by a vehicle along U.S. 52 near Laurel Fork Road in Fort Gay.
Pratt met Cornette who said he was driving northbound along U.S. 52 when a little girl stepped in front of him and he was unable to stop, according to a criminal complaint filed in Wayne County.
The girl, Isol Colleen Newsome, 6, of Fort Gay, was taken to a nearby hospital where she died late Saturday. Pratt found fresh tire marks on the right side of the roadway, but did not find tire marks consistent with a sudden brake, according to the complaint.
Witnesses said Cornette allegedly drove off the roadway and struck the victim, who was standing about a foot off the roadway with relatives.
Cornette allegedly had a cooler of unopened beer inside his car, but did not have alcohol in his system. He was arrested and taken to the Wayne County Sheriff's Department where he tested positive for oxycodone use, according to the complaint. More tests would be conducted on his blood sample. Cornette was taken to Western Regional Jail and later released on bail.