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Two Police Officers Die After Their Helicopter Crashed During High-Speed Chase. Now, Suspect Charged With Their Murders, Officials Say.

two police officers die helicopter louisiana
Source: West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office

Mar. 29 2023, Published 9:00 a.m. ET

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Two police officers helping in a high-speed chase died when the helicopter they were driving crashed and now the suspect has been charged with two counts of manslaughter, according to authorities.

Around 2:27 a.m. on March 26, Baton Rouge cops were chasing a 2014 Ford Mustang when the vehicle crossed into the parish, according to the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.

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The driver, later identified as Deandre Dwayne Bessye, 23, continued fleeing the Baton Rouge police and was going at or near 135 miles per hour, officials said.

Around 2:35 a.m., the Baton Rouge cops decided to end the pursuit of the Mustang.

Around 3:14 a.m., deputies from the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, who didn’t participate in the chase, were dispatched to a residence in Port Allen regarding an abandoned vehicle, authorities said. It was determined the abandoned vehicle was the same Ford Mustang from the chase, officials said.

According to authorities, Bessye contacted the property owner and asked if he could get a ride to a nearby gas station because his vehicle ran out of gas. The property owner dropped off Bessye, who then called a friend in Baton Rouge. The friend picked him up and brought Bessye to his residence in Baton Rouge.

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Around 10:48 a.m., a family member of a Baton Rouge Police Department officer called the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office to ask deputies to respond to the Port Allen area, where investigators found a crashed police helicopter, officials said.

At the crash, two officers were discovered, who both sustained fatal injuries. Soon after discovering the crash, deputies notified the Baton Rouge Police Department, as well as Baton Rouge Metro Airport Traffic Control, authorities said.

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The victims were identified by the Baton Rouge Police Department as 38-year-old Corporal Scotty Canezaro, a 16-year veteran of the department, and 47-year-old Sergeant David Poirrier, a 17-year veteran of the department.

Authorities said both officers were assisting uniformed officers in the vehicle pursuit of the Ford Mustang when the helicopter crashed.

Bessye was arrested and booked into the West Baton Rouge Parish Detention Center. He was charged with two counts of manslaughter, one count of aggravated flight from an officer and one count of aggravated obstruction of a highway of commerce.

Police said Bessye will also be booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for aggravated flight from an officer and hit and run.

The investigation is ongoing, officials said.


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