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Mother, son, grandmother all charged in hit-and-run wreck where BR contractor was killed

2 years 6 months 6 days ago Thursday, August 19 2021 Aug 19, 2021 August 19, 2021 7:29 AM August 19, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

LULING - A man's mother and grandmother are both now charged in a deadly wreck he allegedly caused earlier this year after they helped him evade police the night of the crash.

Hunter Johnson, 22, was arrested in March for the Jan. 14 crash on the I-310 bridge in Luling. According to Louisiana State Police, Johnson crashed through a work site on the bridge around 1 a.m. that morning and killed a man working on the bridge, sending the worker over the side of the bridge and into the Mississippi River below.

The man killed, 44-year-old Brady Ortego, was a contractor from Baton Rouge.

Johnson, who was allegedly impaired at the time, left the scene of the crash and avoided arrest for nearly two months while police investigated. Johnson's grandmother, 73-year-old Marie Sally Dufrene, was arrested in July after investigators discovered she picked her grandson up from the crash scene and never told authorities about it. 

On Aug. 18, State Police announced new charges for Johnson's mother, 51-year-old Pebbles Johnson. Pebbles Johnson was arrested Wednesday after investigators learned she picked up her son from Dufrene's house that night and brought him to a hotel in Houma.

Both Johnson's mother and grandmother are charged with obstruction of justice.

Hunter Johnson is charged with vehicular homicide/driving under the influence, hit and run driving, reckless operation and obstruction of justice.

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