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Troopers Make Arrest in Fatal Hit and Run Crash on I-310 in St. Charles Parish

Destrehan – On January 14, 2021 at 1:00 am, Troopers with Louisiana State Police Troop B began investigating a fatal hit and run crash on I-310 southbound on the Hale Boggs Bridge in St. Charles Parish. The crash claimed the life of 44-year-old Brady Ortego of Baton Rouge and has resulted in the arrest of 22-year-old Hunter Mason Johnson of Reserve.

The initial investigation by Troopers revealed Johnson was traveling south on I-310 onto the Hale Boggs Bridge in a 2014 Ford F150 pickup towards an active work zone with workers present. 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. The worker now identified as 44-year-old Brady 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. On the night of the crash, 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. The extensive and thorough investigation has led to substantial evidence identifying Hunter Mason Johnson as the driver of the 2014 Ford F-150 on the night of the crash. Troopers obtained an arrest warrant for Johnson through the 29th Judicial District Court charging him with Vehicular Homicide / Driving under the Influence, Hit and Run Driving involving a Fatality, Reckless Operation and Obstruction of Justice. This morning at approximately 9:00 am, Hunter 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.

Troopers ask that anyone with additional information concerning this case call Louisiana State Police Troop B at (504) 471-2775. This crash remains under investigation and additional inquiries should be directed to the St. Charles Parish District Attorney’s office.