Officer David Cauthron has been charged with two counts of negligent homicide after a high speed chase ended in a crash that killed two Brusly cheerleaders. According to police reports Addis police officer David Cauthron was pursuing a suspect when he sped through a red light crashing into a car in which 17-year-old Maggie Dunn and 16-year-old Caroline Gill were killed. Maggie Dunn brother Liam Dunn was also in the vehicle and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
Officer David Cauthron would be arrested and has been charged with two counts of negligent homicide. The suspect being chased, Tyquel Zanders, would be arrested and manslaughter charges are pending.
Officer David Cauthron More News
An Addis police officer David Cauthron is facing criminal charges after striking and killing two teenage girls during a high-speed chase of a suspect Saturday, according to 18th Judicial District Attorney Tony Clayton.
Officials told WBRZ that officer David Cauthron was arrested and booked Sunday night on two counts of negligent homicide.
“That cop has a lot of questions to answer pertaining to his speed and sheer negligence,” Clayton said earlier that same day. “The public can rest assured, we will follow the facts.”
Clayton told The Advocate his office is to review dash cam footage and communications from the officer.
“For these kids to not to have been able to start the New Year is inexcusable, but we’ll follow the facts first,” Clayton told the news outlet. “I just can’t put my arms around why (the officer) was driving at that rate of speed in pursuit of this vehicle. This officer is facing some serious issues.”
Clayton has also inquired with the Baton Rouge Police Department about why the pursuit was deemed necessary in Baton Rouge over a home invasion and stolen vehicle, according to a report from The Advocate.
“If it involves putting human life in danger, stop the damn pursuit,” Clayton said. “It’s just not worth the risk.”
Witnesses told WBRZ that while pursuing suspect Tyquel Zanders, the police officer ran a red light on LA 1 in Brusly and struck the victims’ vehicle, pushing them into the median.
The crash claimed the lives of 17-year-old Maggie Dunn and 16-year-old Caroline Gill. Maggie’s brother, Liam Dunn, was also in the vehicle at the time of the crash, and he was last reported to be in critical condition.
Prosecutors said Zanders will also face additional charges for the deadly crash.
“He put the chain of events into play,” Clayton told The Advocate. “He’s responsible for all the reactions to his actions. He’s facing two counts, and if that poor kid doesn’t survive, he’ll face another.”
The chase started in a Baton Rouge neighborhood when Zanders stole a family member’s vehicle. He led authorities through East and West Baton Rouge, and police ultimately stopped Zanders on I-10 back in the capital city. He was taken into custody without incident.
Clayton said the laws surrounding police chases may need to be changed in light of Saturday’s crash and his office would pursue all information before deciding if the Addis officer should be charged, according to the news outlet.
“I want the public to have confidence in its DA’s office that we will follow the facts, and we should let the facts lead us to whatever the outcome should be,” Clayton said.