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Louisiana police officer is charged with negligent homicide after a high-speed pursuit crash that killed two teenage girls

By Amanda Musa and Melissa Alonso, CNN

A Louisiana police officer was charged with negligent homicide after he crashed into a vehicle carrying three teenagers while in pursuit of a suspect in a different vehicle during a high-speed chase, according to the District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District of Louisiana.

Addis Police Department Officer, David Cauthron, 42, was arrested on New Year’s Day in connection with the crash that killed Caroline Gill, 16, and Maggie Dunn, 17, a statement from District Attorney Tony Clayton says. Maggie’s brother, Liam Dunn, was also in the vehicle and is in critical condition.

Cauthron is facing two counts of negligent homicide and one count of negligent injury in connection with the fatal crash, according to Clayton.

The crash happened on New Year’s Eve in the town of Brusly — about 7 miles south of Baton Rouge.

Clayton says Cauthron was in pursuit of a man — Tyquel Zanders, 24, — accused of stealing a car when he ran a red light and crashed into the vehicle carrying the three teens.

CNN is attempting to reach Zanders. It is unclear if he has obtained an attorney.

Meanwhile, the suspect Cauthron was pursuing was eventually arrested and charged in West Baton Rouge with two counts of manslaughter in connection to the crash, Clayton says.

“My office will conduct a thorough investigation of the case, including analyzing all police unit dash camera and officer camera footage, communication with the officer, and interviews with witnesses,” Clayton said in a statement Tuesday. “Sirens and police vehicles do not give an officer the authority to cut through a red light. They must slow down or come to a complete stop when human life is in danger.”

Clayton added that his office will present the case to a grand jury.

A statement from Brusly High School says Maggie Dunn was in 11th grade, while Caroline Gill was in 10th grade. Both girls were members of the high school cheerleading squad, according to a Facebook post.

“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,” a statement from Brusly High School Cheerleading says.

Cauthron’s bond has been set at $100,000, and he remains in jail, according to Clayton. No attorney information for Cauthron is available at this time.

The Addis Police Department would not comment on Cauthron’s arrest, following a request from CNN.

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