An officer from Louisiana reportedly responsible for a car accident on New Year’s Eve that killed two high school cheerleaders while pursuing a suspect has been charged with homicide in connection with the incident.
According to a statement released by the 18th Judicial District Attorney Tony Clayton, Officer David Cauthron, 42, of the Addis Police Department is accused of running a red light during the pursuit and crashing into a vehicle with three young passengers inside “at a very high rate of speed.”
Two separate counts of negligent homicide have been brought against Cauthron. According to the district attorney’s office, the collision occurred directly on the other side of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge.
Equal Zanders, age 24, was the subject of the officer’s pursuit. According to the authorities, Zanders was suspected of stealing the vehicle that belonged to his father. According to the district attorney’s office, the officer then ran a red light on Louisiana Highway 1, drove into the automobile containing the three teenagers, and fled the scene.
According to the authorities, the incident took the lives of cheerleaders Maggie Dunn, 17, and Caroline Gill, 16, both of whom attended Brusly High School. According to the officials, Liam Dunn, Maggie’s brother, who is 20 years old and was also in the automobile, was listed as being in critical condition at a hospital in Lafayette.
A message that was made on the Facebook page for the Brusly High School cheering program went as follows: “As we grieve the untimely losses of Maggie Dunn and Caroline Gill, please keep their families, friends, and the BHS community in your thoughts and prayers.” “Their infectious joy and radiant grins will be sorely missed more than anyone could ever fathom.”
After the collision, Zanders entered West Baton Rouge by driving across a bridge that spanned the Mississippi River. Deputy sheriffs from the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Department chased him until his vehicle broke down, at which point they were able to take him into custody. Two separate counts of manslaughter have been brought against Zanders.
In a statement, Clayton stated that his office would “conduct a thorough investigation of the case.” This investigation will examine all police unit dash camera and officer camera footage, as well as communication with the officer and interviews with witnesses. Clayton also stated that his office would “conduct a thorough investigation of the case.” After that, a grand jury will be presented with the evidence.
Clayton stated that “we will follow the facts of the case,” but he was at a loss to explain why the officer was driving at such a high rate of speed through a red light. “Even when they are accompanied by sirens and marked by a police car, officers are not permitted to run red lights.
When there is a risk to human life, they are required to either slow down or come to a complete stop. In this instance, the evidence demonstrates that the officer was extremely careless. If he had used his head instead of endangering the lives of these young individuals, he would not have been responsible for their deaths.”
Clayton said, “If continuing the chase will jeopardize people’s lives, you should give up already. Simply put, the reward does not justify the risk. This is a terrible incident that has affected many families and an entire community, and it has claimed the lives of young individuals who had a bright future ahead of them. It’s a terrible shame.” It is not entirely known whether or whether Cauthron has retained legal representation.
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