City of Alexandria sued after allegedly intoxicated man let go by police causes three accidents, kills man

By Kyle Barnett | Mar 2, 2015

ALEXANDRIA – A wrongful death action has been filed against the City of Alexandria over its alleged failure to keep a man said to have a “special relationship” with the city’s police force from killing a man in a car accident moments after being temporarily detained by police for his involvement in two prior accidents.

Jennifer Fowler, Jonathan Fowler and Laci Fowler filed suit against Daniel A. Verzwyvelt and the City of Alexandria in the 9th Judicial District Court on Feb. 16.

The plaintiffs claim that Verzwyvelt was under the influence of amphetamines, cocaine and methadone when he left the Jena Choctaw Pines Casino at 7:38 a.m. on April 20, 2014 and immediately ran his 2002 Ford F-250 pickup into a nearby ditch after which he had to be towed out. The Fowlers allege that after Verzwyvelt’s vehicle was pulled from the ditch he drove off and shortly thereafter collided with the rear of a vehicle stopped at a red light at MacArthur Drive and Bayou Rapides Road in Alexandria. Before the second accident occurred the Fowlers contend that an unknown person made a call to 911 describing Verzwyvelt’s vehicle and saying the driver was likely intoxicated, swerving in and out of traffic and should be removed from the roadway. However, the plaintiffs contend that when police arrived to the scene of the second accident they did not give Verzwyvelt a sobriety test or cite him for the accident “because of a special relationship with law enforcement.”

Shortly after being allowed to drive away from the scene of the second accident the Fowlers assert Verzwyvelt ran his vehicle head-on into a 1999 Toyota Tacoma truck being driven by David Fowler, who died due to injuries sustained in the accident.

The defendant is accused of wrongful death.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for loss of support, loss of consortium, loss of service, loss of society, mental anguish, grief, distress and deprivation of companionship.

The Fowlers are represented by Jimmy R. Faircloth Jr. of Alexandria-based Haircloth, Melton & Keiser LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division G Judge Greg Beard.

Case no. 252,128.

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