NEW ORLEANS (AP) — It was a tragically high price to pay for catching a suspected car thief: two innocent teenagers dead and a police officer jailed, facing serious charges for a car crash that resulted from the pursuit.

Maggie Dunn, 17, and Caroline Gill, 16, who were cheerleaders for their high school in the southern Louisiana town of Brusly, died in the collision Saturday. They're the latest fatalities among hundreds every year attributed to accidents involving police pursuits.

Many police departments have tightened their policies on such pursuits in recent years. However, National Highway Transportation Safety data show that 455 deaths were tied to police pursuits in 2020.

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