Couple suing after crash with LCPD officer

Couple suing after crash with LCPD officer
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
(Source: Chandler Watkins/KPLC)
(Source: Chandler Watkins/KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A Lake Charles police officer headed to a school lock down, crashes with an expectant mother, and now she's filing a lawsuit against the officer and the city.

"She was pregnant at the time... about four and a half months, and the baby dies as a result of the collision," said attorney Jay Delouche.

Andrew and Mallory Smith were involved in a car accident involving a Lake Charles police officer last month. Officer Bret Dommert was responding to a lock down at Barbe High School when their vehicles collided.

According to the police report the Smiths were attempting to turn northbound onto Nelson Road when Officer Dommert struck the vehicle while driving southbound in the turning lane.

"Just earlier that day they had been with the doctor to get a good clean checkup, and then they get in this wreck and now they lost their child," said Delouche.

Delouche is representing Mallory, and filed a lawsuit against officer Dommert and the city of Lake Charles.

The lawsuit claims Mallory's husband Andrew heard no sirens, and saw no flashing lights before the accident occurred. The couple was taken to a nearby hospital, and Delouche says another officer showed up.

"While he's at the hospital the officer, apparently proceeds to arrest the grandfather…my client's father who is also distraught," he said. "The whole family is distraught, and puts him in a police unit to arrest him and presumably take him to jail."

Delouche says Mallory's father was eventually released.

"That's all being witnessed by Mr. and Mrs. Smith in the hospital room, and that obviously creates additional trauma to the situation," he said.

Trauma, along with Mallory's injuries, medical bills, and funeral expenses for her unborn child are what the lawsuit is holding Dommert and the city liable for.

Delouche says while the Smiths are upset, they are relying on their faith to get them through, and he is hoping this lawsuit will bring about change when it comes to law enforcement responding to emergencies

"They lost sight of the other people, the innocent people," he said. "They're trying to save some people and help some people but they're also endangering other innocent people, and I think sometime that's lost and this is a good case. This is a good example of how that happens."

7News reached out to the Lake Charles Police Department for comment. They referred us to the city's attorney who tells 7News  he hasn't seen the lawsuit yet, and that it could take up to two weeks before the city is served.

Delouche says the investigation is  still ongoing, but they are working to get a subpoena to investigate the patrol vehicle.

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