Louisiana State Police Troop B announced this morning that another arrest has been made in the investigation into the crash that claimed the life of 44-year-old Brady Ortego, and this time it is Pebbles Johnson, the mother of suspect Hunter Johnson.
Hunter, 22, was arrested and booked in March with vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, hit and run, reckless operation and obstruction of justice in connection with the death of Ortego. Hunter is accused of hitting four construction workers with his truck the night of Jan. 14 on the Hale Boggs Bridge. Ortego, 44, was sent over the side of the bridge and into the Mississippi River. He remains missing but is presumed dead.
In July, Hunter’s 73-year-old grandmother, Marie Sally Dufrene, was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice after helping her grandson flee the scene, State Police said.
According to State Police, Hunter was injured in the crash and abandoned his vehicle on foot, leaving key evidence at the scene. State Police said that, after fleeing the scene, Hunter contacted Dufrene to pick him up.
Yesterday’s arrest of Pebbles marks the third arrest so far in the case.
“Troopers obtained additional evidence which revealed that Johnson’s 51-year-old mother, Pebbles Johnson, transported Hunter Mason Johnson from his grandmother’s residence to a hotel in Houma and assisted him in eluding capture,” a State Police press release stated. “Given the additional findings, Troopers obtained an arrest warrant for Pebbles Johnson through the 29th Judicial District court charging her with Obstruction of Justice. On the evening of August 17, 2021, Pebbles Johnson was booked into the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center in St. Charles Parish for the active warrant.”