9-Year-Old Killed in Crash Involving Impaired Driver

Published 4:45 pm Monday, October 25, 2021

Belle Chasse – On Friday October 22, 2021 shortly after 8:00 pm, Troopers with Louisiana State Police Troop B began investigating a three-vehicle crash on LA 23 at LA 428 in Gretna. The crash ultimately claimed the life of 9-year-old Abigail Douglas of New Orleans.

The preliminary investigation revealed that 58-year-old Wendell Lachney was driving a 2020 Infinity Q50 south on LA 23 at a high rate of speed and rear ended a 2014 Toyota Sienna, which was also traveling south on LA 23. The impact from the Infinity forced the front of the Sienna into a 2014 Chevrolet pick-up truck. Douglas, who was properly restrained in the third row of the Sienna, was seriously injured and transported to a local hospital for treatment.

 Lachney, who was unrestrained during the crash, suffered minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. He was released from the hospital on the same night. He was placed under arrest transported to the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, where he was booked for the following: 1st Degree Negligent Injuring; Reckless Operation; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; Possession of Schedule I (Marijuana); Open Container; Seatbelt Violation. 

 On Saturday October 23, 2021, Lachney was released on bond from the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center.

On Sunday October 24, 2021, Douglas succumbed to her injuries in the crash and was pronounced deceased. Given the death of Douglas, Troopers obtained an arrest warrant for Lachney through the 24th Judicical District for Vehicular Homicide.

 Troopers are requesting the public’s assistance in locating Lachney. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts can contact LSP at 504-471-2775; Crimestoppers at 504-822-111; or your local law enforcement agency.      

Troopers would like to remind motorists of the importance of safe decisions behind the wheel. Impairment continues to be a leading cause of fatal crashes. Have a plan and designate a driver before you decide to drink. Having a plan and making safe decisions could be the difference for tomorrow.