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Brusly community mourns high school cheerleaders killed in New Year's Eve police chase

1 year 6 months 2 weeks ago Sunday, January 01 2023 Jan 1, 2023 January 01, 2023 11:30 AM January 01, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ News

BRUSLY - The Brusly community is mourning the death of two local high school students killed in Saturday's high-speed police chase.

The victims, 17-year-old Maggie Dunn and 16-year-old Caroline Gill, were both cheerleaders at Brusly High. The school's cheerleading team released a statement on Facebook regarding their tragic deaths:

"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. Their enthusiasm and bright smiles will be missed more than can be imagined."

Several people close to Maggie and Caroline posted tributes to the school's Facebook page recounting their fond memories of the girls. A candlelight vigil is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday at Brusly High.

The teen girls were killed Saturday after an Addis police officer ran a red light in pursuit of a suspect, who led multiple law enforcement agents on a chase across both East Baton Rouge and West Baton Rouge parishes.

The police unit crashed into the victims' vehicle and pushed it into the median, witnesses say. The officer who was behind the wheel, David Cauthron, was arrested Sunday.

Liam Dunn, Maggie's brother and a University of Louisiana Lafayette freshman, was also in the vehicle at the time of the crash. He was last said to be in critical condition.

Sunday, 18th Judicial District Attorney Tony Clayton told WBRZ, "That cop has a lot of questions to answer pertaining to his speed and sheer negligence. The public can rest assured, we will follow the facts."

"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."

About the suspect's role in the crash, Clayton said the following, according to a report from The Advocate: "He put the chain of events into play. 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."

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