Autopsies on BRPD officers: both died from “multiple blunt force traumatic injuries”

Both officers “have been tremendous assets to the Air Support Unit and are excellent representatives of the department.”

BATON ROUGE — Autopsies on two Baton Rouge police officers have wrapped up. The men were killed after their helicopter crashed in a cane field while assisting with a vehicle pursuit early Sunday morning.

West Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office reports both officers died from “multiple blunt force traumatic injuries.”

Sergeant David Poirrier & Corporal Scotty Canezaro, both pilots for BRPD’s Air One, died Sunday. Canezaro leaves behind a wife and their 10-year-old son. Poirrier leaves behind a daughter.

The men were a two-person flight crew and flew together in the Air Support Unit within the Special Operations Bureau. Both were licensed helicopter pilots and trained tactical flight officers.

Cpl. Scotty Canezaro (left) & Sgt. David Poirrier (right)

The two men left the Baton Rouge airport at 2:26 a.m. on March 26 to assist BRPD with a vehicle pursuit of a mustang. That pursuit started at Florida Blvd. & Airline Hwy. and went into West Baton Rouge Parish.

Flight records show the two were in the air for a total of 12 minutes before crashing at 2:38 a.m. in a sugar cane field in Erwinville in West Baton Rouge Parish. The pursuit had just been called off when the duo was starting to return to Baton Rouge.

Despite the helicopter going down at 2:38 a.m., the officers were not found for close to eight to nine hours later.

The cause of the crash is under investigation with the FAA & NTSB leading the investigation.

Poirrier had recently been promoted to the rank of sergeant at the Baton Rouge Police Dept. He had been with the police department for nearly 17 years, and prior to that he had worked at various police departments. He was 47-years-old.

Canezaro had just celebrated his 38th birthday last week. He had been with BRPD 16 years.

Together, the men were awarded “Officers of the Month” in 2019. In one month, the men were credited with assisting in five vehicle pursuits, five foot pursuits and the recovery of four stolen vehicles and nine felony arrests.

In one specific case from August 2019, the duo was patrolling the skies in Air One when they responded to an alarm going off at a Baton Rouge business. A K-9 unit found the vehicle in question last seen leaving the business but the driver was able to outrun the K-9.

That’s when Canezaro & Poirrier put a spotlight on the vehicle providing eyes to the officers on the ground of the vehicle in question. Even after the driver bailed, Air One stayed on him with a FLIR camera leading officers to him & successfully arresting the man who had multiple warrants out for his arrest.

Cpl. Canezaro at a BR event the day before he died answering questions about the BRPD helicopter (Source: Family of young boy)

Cpl. Canezaro was at the Touch a Truck event Saturday, March 25 at the BREC fairgrounds in Baton Rouge. A young boy’s family tells UWK that Cpl. Canezaro “answered all his questions about the helicopter. Cpl Canezaro talked about his love of flying and serving the community.”

“Our deepest condolences to the Canezaro family and the family of Sgt Poirrier,” said Katie Michelli, the young boy’s family.

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