District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that on Wednesday (August 2, 2023), 31 year-old Tristan Sullivan of Hammond, pled guilty to vehicular homicide, hit-and-run, first-degree vehicular negligent injuring and three counts of vehicular negligent injuring. He was sentenced by District Judge Scott Gardner to 20 years in prison on the vehicular homicide and the hit-and-run, 5 years for the first-degree vehicular negligent injuring, 6 months parish jail on each of the three vehicular negligent injuring charges. The court ordered all sentences to run concurrently.
On March 20, 2021, Madisonville Police and St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a two-vehicle automobile crash on Highway 22 in Madisonville. The driver of the vehicle that caused the accident, later determined to be Sullivan, had fled the scene on foot by the time officers arrived. The second vehicle was occupied by the five victims. Emergency vehicles air-lifted a juvenile with serious injuries and the driver, Anthony “Tony” Lewis, was also taken to the hospital but later succumbed to his injuries. The three other passengers sustained less serious injuries.
Investigators were able to gather audio and video surveillance data from multiple locations. They also obtained witness statements, phone records, physical evidence and reconstructed the crash scene. It was determined Sullivan failed to maintain control of his vehicle, crossed the center line and hit the victims’ vehicle head on. Using the video evidence, Sullivan’s movements could be traced up to just moments before the crash. This data captured Sullivan purchasing and consuming suspected alcoholic beverages at a bar until about 25 minutes before causing the crash.
At sentencing, the deceased victim’s mother, father, two sisters and girlfriend addressed the Court and the defendant. They addressed the defendant’s actions and choices that he made that night, and were extremely displeased that he had not stayed on the scene to help render aid. They all expressed how they had forgiven him, but also emphasized how good of a person the deceased victim was, and that nothing would bring him back. The defendant also addressed the Court and the victim’s family members saying that he “sincerely apologized” for what he had done.
Assistant District Attorney Blake Peters prosecuted the case.