By Jay Meisel
ST. LUCIE COUNTY - A Fort Pierce man whose vehicle struck and killed a 14-year-old girl told authorities he tried to help her.
But a witness told investigators Jesse Lewis McInerney, the driver, left the scene of the accident without providing any assistance to Brittany Marlene Hair on June 17, an arrest affidavit said.
After blood tests showed Mr. McInerney tested positive for cocaine and oxycodone, St. Lucie County deputies arrested him on July 20 and charged him with driving under the influence/manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident involving death and vehicular homicide.
At the time of the accident, Brittany was visiting her father and had left to take a walk, the arrest affidavit said.
She told her father on a cell phone that she was on her way home. The accident occurred on Palm Drive, south of Fort Pierce.
Deputies wrote in a report that after the accident, Mr. McInerney appeared to be lethargic and under the influence of drugs.
Mr. McInerney told investigators "he was traveling southbound on Palm Avenue 'doing the speed limit,' when a girl jumped out in front of him," the arrest affidavit said. "McInerney stated he stopped immediately to try and render CPR, but 'some guy' told him to leave her alone."
But a witness who heard the crash told investigators she went outside and saw the driver, who was unsteady on his feet and patting his head, the affidavit said.
She heard him yelling, "Oh my God, I hit a child, I have to leave," and "I have to get out of here."
Witnesses said the driver was traveling at a speed of 80 miles per hour or more and fled the scene after hitting Brittany.
One witness told authorities the driver nearly pulled out in front of him and was all over the road, nearly having a head-on collision with another vehicle, the affidavit said.