Watch CBS News

Baton Rouge police officer arrested in deadly crash, allegedly ran red light at 79 mph

An officer in the Baton Rouge Police Department was arrested on Halloween for allegedly running a red light at nearly 80 miles per hour and crashing into another vehicle, killing its driver. 

The crash occurred on Oct. 20, at around 10:30 p.m., the police department said in a statement on social media. Sharmaine Buckley, 28, was driving a marked patrol car when she allegedly ran the traffic signal and hit a black Chevrolet Impala while going 79 miles per hour. The driver of the vehicle, identified as 38-year-old Caleb James Chappetta, died at the scene, police said. 

The crash occurred when police were responding to reports of officers being shot at, according to CBS News affiliate WAFB. The crash led to a chain reaction involving six additional vehicles, WAFB said. 

Buckley was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a count of negligent homicide, two counts of negligent injuring and a count of reckless operation of a vehicle and emergency vehicles on Halloween. According to jail records, Buckley was bonded out on the same day. Buckley was being held on a bail of $1.6 million, according to a court document reviewed by CBS News. 

Buckley has been placed on administrative leave, the department said. She has been on the force for two years. 

Chappetta was Deaf, according to the Louisiana Association of the Deaf, which released a statement about his death. The organization called Chappetta's death "tragic and unnecessary." 

"His absence left a large void in the lives of his friends and family," the association wrote on social media. "LAD extends its deepest sympathy to the member of Caleb's family and supports his relatives in their tragic loss. LAD truly appreciates the swift action by the Baton Rouge Police Department to seek accountability for Caleb's untimely passing."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.