State Police arrest hit and run driver that injured construction worker
DONALDSONVILLE - State troopers reported a pair of arrests following a long investigation into a hit and run crash in Ascension Parish that seriously injured a roadway construction worker back in November of 2014.
The driver, Mark Burke, turned himself into Louisiana State Police on Thursday and was booked into the Ascension Parish Jail on charges of felony hit and run and obstruction of justice. Burke's mother, Dolores Dindlebeck, also turned herself in and was booked on charges of accessory after the fact and obstruction of justice.
The wreck happened at around 11:45 p.m. on Nov. 21 last year on LA Hwy 30, west of LA Hwy 73 in Ascension Parish. Louisiana State Police asked for the public's help in locating the suspect vehicle on Jan. 20., and troopers received a tip that identified Mark Burke as the owner of the silver 2005 Ford Mustang that was possibly the hit and run vehicle.
Two days later, troopers contacted Burke at his place of employment, and the man admitted to owning the Mustang. Burke told investigators that he was in New Orleans at the time of the crash. He also claimed damage to his vehicle was caused by his mother hitting it.
State police obtained a search warrant for Burke's vehicle and examined it at the LSP Crime Lab, determining that both the driver's side fender and mirror had been recently replaced. They also noted other damage to the vehicle, possibly from the hit and run crash, that had yet to be repaired. Further examination allowed troopers to determine that the damage to the vehicle was not consistent with Burke's statement about how his Mustang had been damaged. In fact, investigators found the damage to be consistent with hitting a pedestrian.
In March, troopers obtained a search warrant for Burke's cell phone records, and those records showed Burke sent incriminating text messages that indicated Burke was in the area of the crash on the night the hit and run incident occurred. The texts also confirmed that Burke was not in New Orleans as he had originally told detectives.
A warrant was finally issued for Burke's arrest this month and he turned himself in on Sept. 3.