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LSP: Impaired driver arrested after girl's death

Louisiana State Police troopers arrested Wendell Lachney, 58, Monday afternoon, a statement from LSP said.

JEFFERSON PARISH, La. — UPDATE: Louisiana State Police troopers arrested Wendell Lachney, 58, Monday afternoon, a statement from LSP said.

Monday afternoon, Troopers from the Louisiana State Police Troop B arrested Lachney for the outstanding warrant and booked him into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, a release from LSP said.

The impaired driver wanted for the death of 9-year-old Abigail Douglas was arrested Monday, a Louisiana State Police spokesperson said.

Wendell Lachney, the driver, was previously arrested and booked with first-degree vehicular negligent injuring among other charges. He was in custody until he bonded out.

After the girl died, an arrest warrant was issued for Lachney for vehicular homicide. 

LSP detectives found Lachney at a medical facility, where he remained until he was released.

"There is a hold on Lachney at the facility," the LSP spokesperson said. "Upon medical release, Lachney will be booked on the additional charges in Jefferson Parish.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Douglas family."

The crash happened on Belle Chasse Highway near Gretna. 

She attended St. Ann School in Metairie. 

Her principal Lindsay Guidry in a statement said, “It is with great sadness that we, at St. Ann School, mourn the loss of our student, Abigail Douglas.  Abby was a shining light and will be remembered fondly…To help our students process and cope with the loss of their classmate, we have dedicated spaces in our school to provide art activities and counseling support.”    

Douglas spent a lot of time at LA Spirit in Elmwood, training with her two competitive cheerleading teams.  

Her coaches Danielle Ferrell and Eli Cole said she lit up the gym with her infectious smile and big heart.  

“She was always talking to people, always hugging people, always being nice to everyone, everyone she met,” Ferrell said. “She never knew a stranger.”  

“Abby was the sweetest kid that you ever met,” Cole said. “Just a kind soul. Nice to everybody. She was very loud and spirited.”