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Grandmother of man accused of striking construction worker on Hale Boggs Bridge arrested


State police have announced a second arrest in connection with a deadly hit-and-run that sent a construction worker into the Mississippi River from the Hale Boggs bridge.In January, troopers announced that 44-year-old Brady Ortego was struck on the Hale Boggs Bridge, resulting in him falling into the Mississippi River below. Hunter Johnson was arrested in March and is accused of striking Oretgo and then fleeing on foot after the accident, according to state police. State police announced Monday that Johnson contacted his grandmother, Marie Sally Dufrene, 77, after the crash. Troopers said they obtained evidence that revealed that Dufrene was responsible for picking up Johnson after the fatal crash and prevented investigators from making an arrest at that time. State police said they obtained an arrest warrant for Dufrene on the charge of obstruction of justice. Dufrene was arrested at her residence Monday morning at 7 a.m. and was booked into the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center in St. Charles Parish, according to state police. Earlier reports: The accident happened on I-310 southbound on the Hale Boggs Bridge back in January. Troopers said at the time of the crash Johnson was traveling south on I-310 onto the Hale Boggs Bridge in a 2014 Ford F-150 pickup towards an active work zone with workers present. State police said for reasons which are still under investigation, Johnson traveled off the road to the right onto the shoulder where he struck multiple vehicles and a construction worker, later identified as Ortego. Ortego was thrown from the bridge into the Mississippi River. Ortego’s remains have yet to be discovered despite search and rescue efforts by the Coast Guard as well as local and state officials, according to State police. On the night of the crash, state police said Johnson fled the scene on foot leaving his vehicle on the shoulder of the I-310.”Immediately after the crash, Troopers began the detailed investigative process to substantiate citizen reports that Johnson was in fact the driver of the 2014 Ford F-150. Investigating Troopers along with the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations, Louisiana State Police Crime Lab, and the St. Charles Parish District Attorney’s office have worked countless hours collecting, analyzing, and reviewing digital forensics, video footage, chemical analysis, witness statements, and physical evidence left at the scene of the crash,” state police said in an issued statement. Troopers said the investigation led to “substantial evidence” identifying Johnson as the driver of the 2014 Ford F-150 on the night of the crash. Troopers obtained an arrest warrant for Johnson charging him with Vehicular Homicide / Driving under the Influence, Hit and Run Driving involving a Fatality, Reckless Operation and Obstruction of Justice. Johnson surrendered himself to troopers at which time he was placed under arrest on the above charges and booked into the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center, according to state police.

State police have announced a second arrest in connection with a deadly hit-and-run that sent a construction worker into the Mississippi River from the Hale Boggs bridge.

In January, troopers announced that 44-year-old Brady Ortego was struck on the Hale Boggs Bridge, resulting in him falling into the Mississippi River below.

Hunter Johnson was arrested in March and is accused of striking Oretgo and then fleeing on foot after the accident, according to state police.

State police announced Monday that Johnson contacted his grandmother, Marie Sally Dufrene, 77, after the crash.

Troopers said they obtained evidence that revealed that Dufrene was responsible for picking up Johnson after the fatal crash and prevented investigators from making an arrest at that time.

State police said they obtained an arrest warrant for Dufrene on the charge of obstruction of justice.

Dufrene was arrested at her residence Monday morning at 7 a.m. and was booked into the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center in St. Charles Parish, according to state police.

Earlier reports:

The accident happened on I-310 southbound on the Hale Boggs Bridge back in January.

Troopers said at the time of the crash Johnson was traveling south on I-310 onto the Hale Boggs Bridge in a 2014 Ford F-150 pickup towards an active work zone with workers present.

State police said for reasons which are still under investigation, Johnson traveled off the road to the right onto the shoulder where he struck multiple vehicles and a construction worker, later identified as Ortego.

Ortego was thrown from the bridge into the Mississippi River. Ortego’s remains have yet to be discovered despite search and rescue efforts by the Coast Guard as well as local and state officials, according to State police.

On the night of the crash, state police said Johnson fled the scene on foot leaving his vehicle on the shoulder of the I-310.

“Immediately after the crash, Troopers began the detailed investigative process to substantiate citizen reports that Johnson was in fact the driver of the 2014 Ford F-150. Investigating Troopers along with the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations, Louisiana State Police Crime Lab, and the St. Charles Parish District Attorney’s office have worked countless hours collecting, analyzing, and reviewing digital forensics, video footage, chemical analysis, witness statements, and physical evidence left at the scene of the crash,” state police said in an issued statement.

Troopers said the investigation led to “substantial evidence” identifying Johnson as the driver of the 2014 Ford F-150 on the night of the crash.

Troopers obtained an arrest warrant for Johnson charging him with Vehicular Homicide / Driving under the Influence, Hit and Run Driving involving a Fatality, Reckless Operation and Obstruction of Justice.

Johnson surrendered himself to troopers at which time he was placed under arrest on the above charges and booked into the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center, according to state police.

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