Intoxicated driver sentenced to 10 years for crash that killed 5-year-old

Published 9:44 am Monday, November 22, 2021

PRAIRIEVILLE — Angela Gaudet, 35, of Prarieville pleaded guilty last week to one count of vehicular homicide in a 2018 crash that claimed the life of 5-year-old Addisyn Teekell, daughter of St. John the Baptist Parish Deputy Ben Teekell.

Gaudet was intoxicated at the time of the crash. She received a 10-year prison sentence through a plea deal, as Ascension Parish prosecutors agreed to drop other charges including obstruction of justice and first-degree vehicular negligent injuring. Defense attorney Jeff Heggelund noted that Addisyn’s family consented to the plea agreement.

On the night of November 16, Ben Teekell shared a video of the crash to Facebook along with the following statement: “Today, the person who hit us driving drunk/drugged was formally sentenced to DOC for vehicular homicide. This is the video of that crash…I share it in hopes that someone will understand the true cost of drunk driving. We never had a chance. I’ll never get my daughter back, her sister no longer has her best friend, lives are forever devastated. I’m grateful for the 5 years God gifted her to us. Don’t drink & drive.”

Addisyn was also survived by her mother, Autumn Teekell, and her older sister Ashtyn Teekell.

The crash occurred the night of April 6, 2018 on Louisiana 621, west of Louisiana 431 in Ascension Parish.

Authorities with Louisiana State Police said the information didn’t add up when Joey Gaudet of Gonzales stated he was driving a GMC Yukon east on Louisiana 621 when he attempted to make a left turn, striking Teekell’s GMC Terrain head-on.

The Yukon’s passengers included Angela and Joey Gaudet, a third adult and four children. The injuries of the Yukon passengers in relation to their placement of the vehicle according to Joey Gaudet’s account made police doubt his testimony. Evidence gathered from the scene indicated that Angela was driving the Yukon.

Both Joey and Angela Gaudet were arrested two weeks later at their Gonzales home, and toxicology results confirmed Angela was impaired at the time of the crash. Angela was booked into the Ascension Parish jail on charges of vehicular homicide, 10 counts of vehicular negligent injuring, aggravated obstruction of a highway of commerce, obstruction of justice, driving under suspension, no inspection sticker and four counts of no child restraints.

Joey Gaudet pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and injuring public records in December 2019. He was sentenced to five years in state prison for each count to run concurrently.

Judge Alvin Turner Jr. handed down Angela Gaudet’s sentence last week in the 23rd Judicial District Court with victims present. Three years of the 10-year sentence will be without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence, and she is required to undergo substance abuse treatment.

During previous discussions with L’OBSERVATEUR, Ben Teekell shared that Addisyn was a soft-spoken little girl known for her generous hugs, kisses and smiles. She was a real-life princess who could always be found running around in her trademark tutu.

“This child had an amazing ability to put me at peace and calm me down after a stressful day at work, always rubbing my head when I came home,” Teekell shared. “She would just make all my worries disappear.”