A police officer out of Louisiana has been taken into custody and slammed with charges in the wake of striking a car during an insane high-speed chase that resulted in the deaths of a pair of high school cheerleaders.
This past Sunday, 42-year-old David Cauthorn was officially charged with two counts of negligent homicide stemming from the incident which resulted in the deaths of 16-year-old Caroline Gill and 17-year-old Maggie Dunn. Liam Dunn, Dunn’s brother, a freshman going to school at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, was also hospitalized and marked as in critical condition due to the crash.
Tony Clayton, the 18th Judicial District Attorney, stated to WBRZ-TV that Cauthorn has been officially marked as being on administrative leave from his role with the Addis Police Department. Cauthorn was reportedly already in custody as of Monday evening.
This chase sparked off in the wake of 24-year-old Tyquel Zanders being accused of stealing a family car. He reportedly went into a house, threw his father to the ground, and stole the keys to a family-owned 2016 Nissan Altima, explained a report from The Advocate.
Zanders was chased down by Cauthorn, during which the Altima managed to reach up to 80 miles per hour on Government Street and 110 miles per hour on Interstate 10, as reported the outlet. The police vehicle reportedly blew through a red light and did not apply the brakes at all before slamming into the car occupied by the two cheerleaders.
“For these kids to not to have been able to start the New Year is inexcusable, but we’ll follow the facts first,” Clayton explained to the 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.”
“If it involves putting human life in danger, stop the damn pursuit. It’s just not worth the risk,” he stated.
The suspet in the car theft was later found and taken into custody after the car ended up stalling out. Zanders is looking down the barrel of counts of home invasion, theft of a vehicle, and aggravated flight in Baton Rouge, as reported by officials with the Baton Rouge Police. He could also see an additional manslaughter charge in connection with the deaths of the two teenage cheerleaders, explained the outlet.
This past Sunday in a post on Facebook, the Brusly High School cheerleading team elected to pay tribute to their fallen teammates.
“As we mourn the tragic deaths of Maggie Dunn and Caroline Gill please keep their families, friends, and the BHS community in your thoughts and prayers,” stated the cheerleading team in their post. “Their enthusiasm and bright smiles will be missed more than can be imagined.”