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Arrest Warrant Issued for Police Officer Involved in Crash that Killed 2 Teens

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David Cauthron WBRZ





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An Addis police officer has been arrested after a deadly pursuit killed 2 teenagers and critically injured another.

Authorities said the chase began in Baton Rouge and continued through West Baton Rouge Parish before ending on the interstate back in Baton Rouge.

The chase led to a crash on LA 1 and left two teen girls dead and a backseat passenger critically injured, officials said. The teen victims are Maggie Dunn, 17, and Caroline Gill, 15; both were Brusly High School students, officials added.

WAFB

The officer was identified as David Cauthron. He was arrested and booked into WBR Parish Prison at 9:45 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 1, and is charged with 2 counts of negligent homicide and 1 count of negligent injuring.  The officer’s bond has been set at $100,000, Clayton said.

Clayton says Addis Police Chief Richard Anderson told him the officer is currently on administrative leave. Clayton also plans to convene a grand jury at the end of the month to look into the officer’s actions.

“That cop has a lot of questions to answer pertaining to his speed and sheer negligence,” Clayton said earlier that same day. “The public can rest assured, we will follow the facts.”

Sources told WBRZ that the GPS inside Cauthron’s vehicle showed he was going about 86 miles per hour and did not hit his brakes before impact. Witnesses said Cauthron ran a red light and that the light had been red for about 20 seconds when his police unit reached the intersection.

The police unit struck the victims’ car, pushing it into the median of the highway. Two of the occupants, 17-year-old Maggie Dunn and 16-year-old Caroline Gill, were pronounced dead, and a third victim, Dunn’s teenage brother, was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Investigators reviewed dash camera video and other footage from the crash before deciding to arrest Cauthron. He joined Addis Police in February 2022 and previously worked at the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“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.”

Clayton has also inquired with the Baton Rouge Police Department about why the pursuit was deemed necessary in Baton Rouge over a home invasion and stolen vehicle, according to a report from The Advocate.

“If it involves putting human life in danger, stop the damn pursuit,” Clayton said. “It’s just not worth the risk.”.

Clayton said the laws surrounding police chases may need to be changed in light of Saturday’s crash and his office would pursue all information before deciding if the Addis officer should be charged, according to the news outlet.

“I want the public to have confidence in its DA’s office that we will follow the facts, and we should let the facts lead us to whatever the outcome should be,” Clayton said.



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