Grandmother who allegedly helped grandson evade police after fatal hit and run arrested

Hunter Johnson, 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 Brady Ortego.

Today his 73-year-old grandmother, Marie Sally Dufrene of Paradis, was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice after helping her grandson flee the scene, State Police said.

Johnson 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.

Marie Sally Dufrene

According to Louisiana State Police, Johnson 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, Johnson contacted Dufrene to pick him up.

Dufrene was arrested at around 7 a.m. this morning and booked into St. Charles Parish’s Nelson Coleman Correctional Center.


About Monique Roth 919 Articles
Roth has both her undergraduate and graduate degree in journalism, which she has utilized in the past as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a reporter at various newspapers and online publications. She grew up in LaPlace, where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters.

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