4-year-old hurt in deadly police chase Monday had been left with babysitter, ended up in stolen car
BATON ROUGE - Authorities said a pursuit that started in Pointe Coupee Parish ended in a deadly collision in East Baton Rouge Monday night.
The crash happened shortly after 6 p.m. on Scenic Highway near Old Rafe Mayer Road and resulted in the deaths of a teenage girl who was identified as 17-year-old Stanlasija Brue, and a young man, 22-year-old Thaddeus Johnson Jr. Authorities believe Brue was driving a stolen vehicle at the time of the crash.
"It's a very tragic event," said Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff Rene Thibodeaux. "And come to find out, I don't know if they were switching drivers right then and there when the wreck took place or right before it, but the drivers switched places at some time."
Three other individuals, including a 4-year-old, were critically injured. Authorities said Tuesday that the child had been left with a babysitter and somehow ended up in the stolen car.
"None of them belong here, they don't belong in this situation, not at all," said Sheriff Thibodeaux.
The chase was initiated by Pointe Coupee Sheriff's Deputies. Sheriff Thibodeaux says the three people that were critically injured were in the vehicle being pursued, which was stolen from Baton Rouge on Leak Avenue. The owner notified New Roads Police that the car may end up in the area since the thief reportedly has family there.
Sheriff Thibodeaux says there was a "be on the lookout" for the stolen vehicle and a New Roads officer began the pursuit after confirming the Camaro was in fact stolen.
The vehicle crossed the median and collided with a Mustang head-on. Sheriff Thibodeaux believes both people killed were from Pointe Coupee.
Even though the pursuit crossed parish lines, Sheriff Thibodeaux says the situation was too dangerous to abandon.
"When a car is operating in a manner that is endangering people's lives do you let them continue or do you stop them? Our guys were doing their job under the policy and had good faith," he said.
With regard to pursuit policy, Sheriff Thibodeaux said he hired someone to completely rewrite the policy manual after he became sheriff this summer, but it was found no changes needed to be made.
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