Infant dies in crash as mom fled officers for stealing baby items from Walmart, police say
MONROE, La. (KNOE/Gray News) – A 5-week-old infant is dead after her mother crashed while speeding away from officers with the baby in the car, police said.
The mom, identified as Candace Gill, 38, was running from police in Louisiana because she shoplifted baby items from Walmart, according to the Monroe Police Department.
Another man who was a passenger in the vehicle, identified as Edward Williams, also died in the crash.
According to court records, the series of events started when officers were called to Walmart on Monday evening for a shoplifting complaint.
When officers arrived, the suspects – Gill and Williams – had already fled the scene with their infant. Store employees told officers that the pair had stolen baby care items and ran when workers confronted them.
Officers spotted the suspects’ vehicle a short time later, but the vehicle turned onto the highway and accelerated. The court filing said the “officer pursued and activated his lights and sirens, but the vehicle failed to stop.”
Police said the car then crashed at a high rate of speed, but Gill, who was driving, managed to flee the scene on foot while officers tended to the passengers. Williams was pronounced dead on the scene, and the infant was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. The baby girl later died at the hospital.
The Monroe Police Department said they believe the baby was not properly restrained in the vehicle prior to the crash.
Two other people who were in a separate vehicle that Gill crashed into suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
With the help of a tip, police arrested Gill on Tuesday night at an apartment complex. She was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Ouachita Correctional Center.
Gill is charged with two counts of manslaughter, aggravated obstruction of a highway, four counts of negligent injury, theft, and several traffic violations. She also had other active warrants out for her arrest, including for theft of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a felon, and traffic charges.
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