UPDATE: Accident victim dies; driver charged with homicide by vehicle

2013-06-27T13:00:00Z 2014-02-18T08:54:53Z UPDATE: Accident victim dies; driver charged with homicide by vehicleBy JEFF REINITZ, jeff.reinitz@wcfcourier.com Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

JESUP, Iowa --- An Oelwein pickup driver who crashed into a motorcycle carrying two people over the weekend had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit, according to court records.

On Thursday, Black Hawk County sheriff’s deputies upgraded charges against Bryan Allen Cornwell after a passenger on the motorcycle, 20-year-old Katlyn Leekley of Jesup, died.

Cornwell, 22, is now charged with homicide by vehicle in Leekley’s death. He is also charged with serious injury by vehicle for wounds suffered by the motorcycle driver, Derek Lee Martie, 24, of Jesup, and for leaving the scene of the accident.

Cornwell remains in the Black Hawk County Jail.

According to court records, Martie suffered a serious leg injury that may require amputation, and Leekley received a “massive internal brain injury.”

Authorities initially didn’t think she would make it until the next morning, records state.

Both were flown to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

She was removed from life support Wednesday night and died Thursday morning, officials said.

Sheriff’s deputies said Cornwell was driving Chevrolet S-10 in the 10000 block of Dubuque Road at about 9:35 p.m. when he crossed the center line and hit the oncoming yellow Honda CBR900 motorcycle.

The pickup truck continued on, and a witness followed it, updating emergency dispatches as they continued to travel west.

Evansdale police and sheriff’s spotted Cornwell’s truck near Douglas Drive. It had front-end damage, and a wheel rim was spitting out sparks because he was driving on a flat tire, court records state.

Deputies said Cornwell smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. He failed all of the field sobriety tests and blew above the legal limit on a portable breath test.

Back at the jail, he blew a .214 at 10:47 p.m., which was about an hour after the crash, records state.

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(3) Comments

  1. CSS
    Report Abuse
    CSS - July 04, 2013 8:58 am
    The victims happen to be my neighbors. Katlyn seemed to be a nice girl when I talked to her. I'm more concerned for Martie and his condition. @Skippy... helmets wouldn't have mattered in this case if you get hit and bounced off a vehicle that is doing 60mph + your momentum. Helmets are only designed for ground contact and low speed impact.
  2. jabbar
    Report Abuse
    jabbar - June 27, 2013 3:17 pm
    Three lives destroyed, all because of alcohol. The damage done by those who drink and drive is just out of control. If you are going to drink, have plans for someone else to drive or do it at home. In an instant, one dead, one imprisoned and one maimed.
  3. skippy
    Report Abuse
    skippy - June 27, 2013 1:43 pm
    Were the motorcyclists wearing helmets?
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