LSP: Driver not charged in crash that killed children who were fishing

The three adults were injured but survived.
The three adults were injured but survived.

PRAIRIEVILLE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana State Police say they will not file any charges against the woman accused of causing a wreck that killed two children in Prairieville.

The children were among a group of five who were fishing near Bluff Road in June when they were run over by an SUV.

Sarai Lanus, 9, of Geismar, and her brother, Daylon, 6, were killed. Both children attended Dutchtown Primary School.

Trooper Jared Sandifer, spokesman for State Police Troop A, said their investigative file will be sent to District Attorney Ricky Babin. Sandifer says it will be up to Babin to decide whether the case should be reviewed by a grand jury.

"In our investigations, we want to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was criminal negligence involved," Sandifer said. "And, in our investigation into this case, we were unable to find that."

"Our troopers have put a lot of time and effort into this case to make sure we did everything correctly. But, at this point we cannot prove any criminal negligence. We are sending our findings to the district attorney's office for their review," said Sandifer.

Investigators said the children were fishing down an embankment with their father and two adult family friends when a 2004 Nissan Armada driven by Shawnette Taylor, 47, of Prairieville, veered off the roadway and hit the group. The three adults were injured but survived.

Shortly after the crash, troopers said they sent a sample of Taylor's blood to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. They have not yet disclosed the results.

State Police declined to give WAFB a copy of their final report, saying the District Attorney would have to release that information once his review is complete.

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