Man pleads guilty to fatal crash, judge suspends sentence

Carl and Carrie Vorenkamp's vehicle
Carl and Carrie Vorenkamp's vehicle

HAMMOND, LA (WAFB) - A 26-year-old man pleaded guilty to negligent homicide and hit and run driving, and pleaded no contest to obstruction of justice involved with a hit and run accident that left a Hammond couple dead in 2010.

After pleading guilty, the judge suspended Jake Kiefer's sentence and he was placed on probation and under house arrest.

Kiefer was charged in the deaths of Carl and Carrie Vorenkamp, who died when their Ford Focus was hit by a Cadillac SUV that police said swerved off of I-55 and on to the median and then wildly back on to the road, impacting the Vorenkamp's car.

After being hit by the Cadillac, the Vorenkamp's vehicle went off the road, under a chain link fence, across the service road and slammed into a parked dump truck.

The accident occurred on April 10, 2010 on I-55 northbound near Ponchatoula.

When Kiefer was arrested nine days later on April 19, 2010, officers noted that the damage to the vehicle had already been repaired. This resulted in the Obstruction of Justice charge, said Assistant District Attorney Angel Monistere.

He was sentenced to serve five years with the department of corrections for negligent homicide and 10 years with the department of corrections for each additional offense, to be served concurrently.

The sentences were suspended and the Kiefer was placed on five years of probation to be served on in-home incarceration.  He must also pay a $10,000 fine and $25,000 in restitution.

Before the crash in 2010, Kiefer had two prior DWI convictions on his record.

The case was scheduled for jury trial on February 4 when Kiefer chose to change his plea. "The defendant pleaded as charged. There was no plea agreement or offer from the district attorney's office," said District Attorney Scott M. Perrilloux. "Sentencing is always a function of the Judge," he explained.

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