TAYLORTOWN, La. (AP) — A private attorney who crashed a sport utility vehicle belonging to a northwest Louisiana prosecutor’s office didn’t tell deputies how it ended up submerged in a bayou or why he left the scene of the accident.
KTBS-TV reports that Bossier City attorney Lyn Lawrence was ticketed earlier in August by Bossier Parish deputies for failing to report the accident.
District Attorney Schuyler Marvin has refused to say why Lawrence was driving the government vehicle or whether Marvin approved use by Lawrence. The 53-year-old Lawrence is a friend and political ally of Marvin.
Under state ethics guidelines, vehicles belonging to government agencies are supposed to be used only for official business and by employees of agencies. State law prohibits loaning government property to individuals.
Marvin would not respond to calls for comment on his office’s policies regarding use of it vehicles, whether he would seek restitution for damage to the wrecked SUV or if he would recuse his office from prosecuting the ticket issued to Lawrence.
Deputies were called before midnight Aug. 20 with a report that a vehicle had crossed an embankment into Red Chute Bayou east of Taylortown. Deputies found a 2013 Toyota Sequoia on its side, but no driver.
Deputies traced ownership to the district attorney’s officer and determined Lawrence was the likely driver. They went to Lawrence’s house, where a report says Lawrence told them he “did not want to talk about the accident.” Lawrence said the crash happened about 7 p.m. and he climbed out of the wrecked vehicle through a back window.
Deputies said Lawrence told them he lay on the edge of the bayou for a couple of hours until he was able to get the attention of a family, who took him home.
Paramedics checked Lawrence’s condition and determined he had scratches on his arms and face and a broken nose, deputies said.
Deputies said they saw no reason to suspect alcohol or drugs were factors in the wreck and did not test Lawrence, the report said.
This story was first published on August 31, 2020. It was updated on September 1, 2020, to correct the last name of the district attorney from Martin to Marvin in the summary and one instance in the body of the story.