Driver who sent bridge worker plummeting to his death gets 18-year prison sentence
LULING - A man who struck a bridge worker with his truck, knocking the Baton Rouge contractor into the Mississippi River below, was sentenced to nearly two decades in prison for the deadly hit-and-run crash.
Investigators said 23-year-old Hunter Johnson smashed through a work zone on the Hale Boggs Bridge and sent 44-year-old Brady Ortego over the railing on Jan. 14, 2021. Ortego's body was never recovered.
Police arrived at the scene to find Johnson's mangled truck but no sign of the driver.
Troopers later determined that Johnson's mother picked him up from the crash scene and hid him from law enforcement with the help of his grandmother. Johnson was arrested in March 2021, and his mom and grandmother were booked later that summer.
Johnson pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and obstruction of justice in February. WWL-TV reported was sentenced this week to 18 years in prison with 12 years under supervision upon his release.