Two High School Cheerleaders Die During Police Chase In Louisiana: Reports


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Two Louisiana high school cheerleaders are dead after finding themselves caught in the middle of a police chase Saturday night, according to multiple reports.

Maggie Dunn, 17, and Caroline Gill, 16, were killed when an Addis, Louisiana, police officer ran a red light while chasing a suspect New Year’s Eve, forcing their car into the median, WBRZ reported. Maggie’s brother, Liam Dunn, was also in the car when the crash occurred. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition, according to the outlet.

The police chase began after Baton Rouge police officers were alerted that suspect Tyquel Zanders had broken into a family member’s house and stolen one of their cars, according to a separate report from WBRZ. Zanders then allegedly led officers on a chase through West Baton Rouge Parish.

Officer David Cauthron has been arrested and booked on two counts of negligent homicide, according to a Sunday report from WBRZ.

“For these kids to not to have been able to start the New Year is inexcusable, but we’ll follow the facts first,” 18th Judicial District Attorney Tony Clayton told The Advocate. “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,” Clayton continued, according to The Advocate. “It’s just not worth the risk.” (RELATED: Officer, Civilian Killed During Pursuit Of Kidnapping Suspect)

As for Zanders’ role in the crash, Clayton told the outlet, “He put the chain of events into play. He’s responsible for all the reactions to his actions. He’s facing two counts [of manslaughter], and if that poor kid [Liam Dunn] doesn’t survive, he’ll face another.”

The Brusly High School (BHS) cheerleading team released a statement following the announcement of the girls’ tragic deaths, asking the BHS community to keep their family and friends in their thoughts and prayers. “Their enthusiasm and bright smiles will be missed more than can be imagined,” the team said of the girls.