Driver Charged in Crash that Killed Unrestrained Passenger

Published 4:23 pm Wednesday, March 16, 2022

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Lafourche Parish – On March 15, 2022, Sonny Charpentier was arrested on charges related to a fatality crash that claimed the life of 22-year-old Eli Sternfels. Toxicology samples collected from Charpentier revealed a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit. After obtaining an arrest warrant, Troopers booked Charpentier into the Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex for vehicular homicide, DWI 2nd offense, careless operation, and driving while under suspension.

February 11, 2022


Speed Suspected Factor in Crash that Killed Unrestrained Passenger


Lafourche Parish – On February 11, 2022, shortly before 2:00 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop C was notified of a single-vehicle fatality crash on Louisiana Highway 308 near Marcello Boulevard. The crash claimed the life of 22-year-old Eli Sternfels of Thibodaux.

The preliminary investigation revealed the driver of a 2017 Dodge Challenger, 22-year-old Sonny Charpentier of Thibodaux, was traveling south on LA Hwy 308 at a high rate of speed. For reasons still under investigation, the Challenger traveled off the roadway to the right while in a curve. The vehicle then struck a culvert and utility pole before coming to rest.

Although Charpentier was properly restrained at the time of the crash, he suffered severe injuries and was transported to an out-of-area hospital for treatment. Sternfels, who was a passenger, was unrestrained at the time of the crash. He suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A toxicology sample was collected from Charpentier and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

When a motorist speeds, they increase their chances of losing control, reduce their ability to react to and avoid a roadway hazard, and extend the distance necessary to stop a vehicle. Additionally, taking just 3 seconds to buckle up is your best defense for surviving a traffic crash. Always ensure every occupant is properly restrained. Every trip. Every time.

Troop C has investigated 6 fatal crashes resulting in 6 deaths in 2022.