Man arrested for fatal Hale Boggs hit-and-run, thrown victim still missing in Mississippi River


FILE – In this Sept. 25, 2020 file photo, a heavy Louisiana State Police presence is seen at the New Chapel Hill Baptist Church during funeral services for Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth in West Monroe, La. An Associated Press review of thousands of records has revealed multiple cases when Louisiana State troopers and some of their supervisors exchanged emails with casual, demeaning uses of the n-word. All of it comes against the backdrop of a federal civil rights investigation over the in-custody death of a Black motorist that has roiled the state’s premier law enforcement agency and led to an abrupt change in its leadership. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

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DESTREHAN, La. — The Louisiana State Police have arrested 22-year-old Reserve native Hunter Mason Johnson for the fatal hit-and-run of a Baton Rouge man over the Hale Boggs Bridge in St. Charles Parish on Jan. 14.

Johnson surrendered himself to Troopers on Friday morning and was placed under arrest and booked into the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center.

Troop B reports Johnson was traveling south on Interstate 310 on Hale Boggs at 1 a.m. when his 2014 Ford F150 struck 44-year-old construction worker Brady Ortego during a construction zone with other workers on site.

The impact of the collision threw Ortega 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.

An 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. 

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