‘So bubbly;’ Loved ones mourn 9-year-old killed by suspected impaired driver

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 9:30 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - “You could tell in her eyes and her smile that cheer was everything to her,” said Danielle Ferrell.

Those who knew 9-year-old Abby Douglas said she was well beyond her years and already a standout cheer talent.

“She was definitely a natural leader and a little ahead of her time being so young and wanting to be a leader,” said Ferrell.

“She had so much confidence and no one can tell her different. She was who she is, and she was so bubbly and spirited,” said Eli Cole.

Her coaches and mentors remember the emotional weekend, as Abby’s mom first alerted them to the heartbreaking car crash.

“It was awful to hear her break down on the phone like that,” said Ferrell.

“I know we’ll definitely be channeling Abby’s spirit for them because that’s what Abby would’ve wanted to keep going positivity,” said Cole.

Friday night, Louisiana State Police investigated the three-vehicle crash at Burmaster and Franklin Street in Gretna where LSP says 58-year-old Wendell Lachney sped and rear-ended the Douglas family car.

Wendell Lachney, 48
Wendell Lachney, 48(LSP)

Abby was buckled up in the backseat.

“She did tell me at that time that it was extremely serious and she was on life support and that it didn’t look good and they needed a miracle,” said Priscilla West.

Their daughters are best friends and West says it was difficult for adults and young ones in both their families as they prayed for Abby.

“She had already seen I’d been crying and she started busting out in tears and said, ‘Mom, something’s serious. what’s wrong?’ I told her about Abby, and she completely lost it,” said West.

Despite the mountain of prayers, they made the decision to donate Abby’s organs.

“It’s unfathomable, no parent should have to go through this over a senseless act,” said West.

A young girl who had so much life to live ended up giving the ultimate gift of life herself.

“Whoever gets these organs better get ready to dance and be filled with the spirit because they don’t know what they’re about to get in their bodies,” said West.

Abby’s funeral services are still being finalized but are scheduled for this Saturday. Her cheer team also plans to honor her in some way during their competitions this year.

Louisiana State Police have since charged Lachney with vehicular homicide. They say an arrest is pending.

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