Alexandria family still struggling after 2019 police chase crash

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 6:26 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - An Alexandria man is still fighting to recover after accidentally being caught in the middle of a police chase two years ago.

In March 2019, APD officers were in the area of Duhon Lane and Hargis Street in search of a burglary and theft suspect. They approached an occupied SUV that was parked nearby for questioning. The driver, later identified as Daquarious Brown, who filed a lawsuit, started the vehicle and, as admitted in his lawsuit, “drove away, ignoring the officers’ orders to stop.” A pursuit then started and stretched city blocks where police said Brown continued onto the intersection of a West MacArthur service road and Sterkx Road, ran a stop sign and struck a truck that sent Donald Wilkinson to the hospital.

Two years have since passed and Wilkinson has been in and out of the hospital with traumatic brain injuries, constant strokes and seizures and not being able to walk on his own. Donald’s son, Brandon, says despite his dad continuing to fight to make progress, not much has changed and he feels there has been no remorse from the city.

“One of the things that I hear the most from everyone is you’re blessed that he’s still alive. I agree with this sentiment but it’s been two years and I haven’t had a conversation with my dad. It’s almost like he’s right here, but he’s not right here,” said Brandon.

The family said the recovery process over the last two years has led to financial struggles as they try to find caregivers and get the right equipment to take care of Donald.

“I’ve been to the hospital too many times to count,” said Brandon. “It is taking a toll on my mom because she still works full time, and she’s now his full-time caregiver as well.”

Brandon’s mom is the full-time caretaker all while still holding her position in the detective’s division at APD.

Brandon said after the accident, he did more research on innocent people being impacted by high-speed chases and is looking to start a foundation to help families across the country that are in the same shoes as his.

“I just hope that we can get it out there, and if we can help one of the families going through what we’re going through, I’m all for it,” said Brandon.

The family is now wanting the policies and procedures changed to hold officers more accountable during a high-speed pursuit.

The family has also started a GoFundMe on the Support Donald Wilkinson Facebook page to help get more support.

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