2 High School Cheerleaders Killed in High-Speed Crash, Police Officer and Chase Suspect Arrested

Two high school cheerleaders were killed when a police chase turned deadly this weekend, with one officer charged as a result.

via People:

Maggie Dunn, 17, and Caroline Gill, 15 — both of whom were students and cheerleaders at Brusly High School in Louisiana — were killed in the crash, which officials said occurred during a high-speed pursuit of a home-invasion suspect on Saturday night.

Maggie’s brother Liam Dunn was also in the car at the time of the crash and is in critical condition.

“He will need surgeries. Has a broken femur, tabula, left wrist, fractured skull, and a few other issues. We are asking for prayers,” his father Kenny shared on Facebook, asking friends and family to donate blood in his name at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge.

“We don’t know why God took our daughter, but I bet she is running shop up there,”

Addis Police officer David Cauthron, 42, was arrested and charged with two counts of negligent homicide and one count of negligent injuring on Sunday, WBRZ-TV reports.

According to booking documents, Cauthron remained in custody as of Monday afternoon. It was not clear if Cauthron has hired legal representation who can comment on his behalf.

District Attorney Tony Clayton said that the officer is currently on administrative leave and “has a lot of questions to answer pertaining to his speed and sheer negligence.”

“For these kids to not to have been able to start the New Year is inexcusable, but we’ll follow the facts first,” Clayton added to WBRZ-TV. “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 continued: “If it involves putting human life in danger, stop the damn pursuit. It’s just not worth the risk.”

Authorities say the officer collided with the car carrying the teens as he was in pursuit of 24-year-old Tyquel Zanders, The Advocate reports.

He was apprehended after his car later stalled and booked on charges of home invasion, theft of a vehicle and aggravated flight, according to the outlet. It was not immediately clear if he had engaged legal representation to comment on his behalf.

In a statement sent to students and faculty members and posted on social media, Brusly High School Principal Walt Lemoine said the losses “are far-reaching in our school community as Maggie’s mother, Erin Martin, and sister, Tori Hill, work at our school. Caroline’s older sister is a senior at Brusly High and has younger siblings in our school system.”

“Their losses are sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school, especially our students,” Lemoine continued, adding that the school has a Crisis Intervention Team “comprised of professionals trained to help with the needs of students, parents and school personnel at difficult times such as this.” He added that counselors are also available for any students in need.

Lemoine added that the school will begin the Tuesday school day with an assembly and will have school professionals on hand all day “to assist students who need additional support in the form of individual or small group counseling.”

Meanwhile, the girls’ high school cheerleading team released a statement on Facebook, urging members of the community to keep the families of the victims in their thoughts.

“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,” the statement read. “Their enthusiasm and bright smiles will be missed more than can be imagined.”

According to the Facebook page, a candlelight vigil is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday at the high school football field.

It should be noted that the suspect police were pursuing, Tyquel Zanders, has also been charged with two counts of manslaughter.
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