9-year-old’s death leads to new charge in drunk driving crash, Louisiana cops say

·2 min read

A man accused of driving drunk and causing a crash that killed a 9-year-old girl in Louisiana is facing a new charge of vehicular homicide and will be arrested for a second time after being released from a hospital, police say.

Wendell Lachney, 58, was initially arrested on charges including first-degree negligent injuring and reckless operation after rear-ending a Toyota Sienna at a high speed with the child inside on Oct. 22 along the Belle Chasse Highway, according to a Louisiana State Police news release.

The child, Abigail Douglas, was seriously injured and taken to a hospital, where she died on Oct. 24.

Lachney was released on bond from the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center the day before Douglas died , but after her death police obtained an arrest warrant for him on a charge of vehicular homicide.

Detectives “located Lachney at a secure medical facility, where he currently remains under medical supervision,” Louisiana State Police officer Kate Stegall told McClatchy News in an emailed statement.

After Lachney’s medical release, he will be “booked on the additional charges,” Stegall said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Douglas family,” she added.

Before police located Lachney, Douglas’ mother Sarah Douglas begged in an emotional Facebook post for Lachney to turn himself in.

“I will be at every hearing. I will advocate for retribution until my body becomes shriveled and gray,” Sarah Douglas wrote in her post, which includes images of her damaged car. “I will not rest. I will not stop. I cannot stop until there is justice for Abby.”

After his first arrest Lachney also faced charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a schedule 1 drug, an open container and a seatbelt violation.

The Douglas family donated their daughter’s organs following her death, WGNO reported.

The crash remains under investigation, Stegall said.

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