HAMMOND, La. – A 24-year-old man with two prior DWI convictions has been arrested in connection with a hit and run accident that left a Hammond couple dead.
Jake Kiefer has been 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 on I-55 northbound near Ponchatoula.
State Police said the case was solved with the help of hundreds of tips sent to Crimestoppers.
“It’s a little bit of a relief," said Jim Markey, Carrie Vorenkamp's brother. "It doesn’t bring my sister back. It doesn’t ease the pain but it does let us know that someone who is capable of this is not on the street.”
Kiefer's attorney Michael Thiel said his client is cooperating since his arrest, though State Police said they believe that he and perhaps some accomplices went to great lengths to cover up the incident.
“It has been apparent the vehicle has been tampered with in an attempt to destroy evidence," said Trooper Nicholas Manale. "Parts of the vehicle have been removed, painted over."
The spokesman said there could be more arrests as they believe Kiefer may have had help in hiding his car after the accident.
A State Police spokesman said Kiefer had two prior DWI convictions on his record. In this case he is charged with two counts of negligent homicide, and one count each of reckless operation of a motor vehicle, hit and run, obstruction of justice and driving with a suspended license.