Driver who hit road construction worker in 2014 turns self in

Driver who hit road construction worker in 2014 turns self in
Burke's mother, Dolores Dindlebeck was also arrested (Source: WAFB)
Burke's mother, Dolores Dindlebeck was also arrested (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana State Police say the driver who hit a road construction worker in 2014, leaving him badly injured, turned himself in Friday morning.

Louisiana State Police reported Fredrick Mitchell, 38, of Baton Rouge, was hit in a construction zone on LA 30 near LA 73 in the Geismar area on November 21, 2014 around 11:45 p.m. Mitchell was taken to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital with serious injuries.

Tpr. Jared Sandifer said the vehicle that hit Mitchell was traveling in a closed lane in the construction zone and drove off after the crash. "When I came to, I was in the hospital," Mitchell said.

In January, Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers aired a request seeking the public's help in identifying the suspect vehicle. Crime Stoppers received a tip that Mark Burke owned a silver 2005 Ford Mustang that was possibly the hit and run vehicle. From that tip, troopers made contact with Burke at his place of employment. Burke admitted to owning the Mustang. Burke told Troopers that he was in New Orleans at the time of the crash and that his vehicle sustained damage from his mother striking it with her vehicle.

Troopers obtained a search warrant for Burke's Mustang and upon examination by the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab, it was determined that both the driver's side fender and mirror had been recently replaced. In addition, damage was noted to the A pillar of the vehicle. Troopers determined that the damage couldn't have been caused by another vehicle or pole, and the damage was more likely to be caused by hitting a person.

On March 18, 2015, Troopers obtained a search warrant for Burke's cell phone records. These records showed that Burke sent incriminating text messages and indicated that Burke was in the area of the crash on the night in question and not in New Orleans as he had stated.

On September 1, 2015, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Burke for Felony Hit and Run and Obstruction of Justice. Troopers also obtained a warrant for Burke's mother, Dolores Dindlebeck, for Accessory After the Fact and Obstruction of Justice. 

On September 4, 2015, Burke and Dindlebeck turned themselves in to Troopers at the Ascension Parish Jail.

Mitchell had several surgeries and stitches, and he tells 9News that he is still dealing with his injuries and medical bills. Police say that if the victim's job had not contacted Crime Stoppers to develop new information, it is possible that they would have never found the person they believe to be responsible for the accident.

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