Doctor Says Viral Facebook Post About Hit-and-Run Accident Ruined His Life
Where would we be without Facebook? You’d have to remember your dad’s birthday on your own. You’d have to actually watch the Grammys if you wanted to know what the heck Lady Gaga wore. And when you had a dispute with someone, you’d probably wind up letting the judicial system sort it out.
But in this day and age of The Supreme Court of Social Media, it seems that not a day goes by without a once-private type of dispute being aired and judged online. And one local doctor says that he’s been unfairly tried and convicted without ever stepping foot inside an actual courtroom.
Neftali Ortiz is a child psychiatrist. He lives in Flourtown, Montgomery County, and has an office in Newtown, Bucks County. Ortiz was on his way to work there on the afternoon of Thursday, February 3rd, when police say that he rear-ended a woman named Holly Madden on the off-ramp at the Newtown exit on I-95. Madden is four months pregnant.
According to a report issued by the Pennsylvania State Police, who responded to the scene along with local cops, Ortiz didn’t just rear-end Madden. He then allegedly fled the scene, hitting Madden’s car again in the process. But before he had a chance to get way, Madden got out of her car, whipped out her phone and took photos of Ortiz, his car, and the license plate.
And then Madden went on Facebook in an unusually bold action of public shaming. Here’s what she alleged happened that day, which she says she stands by:
So yesterday 2/3/16 at around 3:30pm I was driving on I-95 north and was exiting the Newtown exit ramp. I was stopped at the red light when I was rear ended.
I got out of my truck and confront the guy by making sure he was ok. He ignored me and I proceeded to ask for insurance and license.
He was rolling his eyes and ignoring me. I took photos of everything because it was clear he was not going to cooperate. I asked him if he spoke English and he said yes. So I asked do you have insurance. He responded again yes. I asked to see it. He said no. I called the police.
Since it was raining I sat in my truck and spoke to the officer and he informed someone would be on their way. I asked the guy again for insurance and he just put his hand up and ignored me. The guy seemed very arrogant and just didn’t want to give me the time of day. I sat in my truck and waited for the police.
The guy backed up, slammed into my truck again and fled the scene. I once again called the cops and they arrived very quickly. The cop and state trooper were very helpful and nice.
I am 4 months pregnant. I went to the hospital to check to see if the baby is ok. Thank God the heartbeat is still strong! I do have muscle ache in my back. Due to the pregnancy there is not much to do about that.
I am writing this to make other drivers aware. This is DR NEFTALI ORTIZ who hit a 4 month pregnant woman twice with his be vehicle and fled the scene of an accident. Thanks to google it wasn’t to hard to identify him! Please be aware and drive safely!
When we spoke with Ortiz, he confirmed that he is the driver in the photo, and he didn’t exactly deny that he hit Madden. He just said he couldn’t remember anything about what happened on the road that afternoon. As Ortiz tells it, he must have had a seizure, explaining that he’s had seizures throughout his life. The police report indicates that when State Police arrived at Ortiz’s office shortly after the accident to question him, he told them that he didn’t know what they were talking about.
“I don’t remember any of that,” he says, referring to the accident on the 3rd. “I’ve had other accidents like that as well. Once, I drove from City Line Avenue to Broad and Hunting Park and ran into a bridge somewhere near there, and I have no memory of any of that. None of that do I remember.”
So, you might ask, what the hell was he doing behind the wheel at all? Ortiz says that he thought that he had his seizures under control and promises that he won’t be driving again anytime soon. Thank God for that. He’s been charged with a number of offenses, including fleeing the scene of an accident, and if convicted, he could see the inside of a jail cell.
In the meantime, before he’s even had a chance to go before a judge, Madden’s Facebook post has been shared more than 15,000 times and has received scores of comments, many of the “what a piece of shit!” variety.
“Her Facebook post has really ruined my life,” says Ortiz, who claims that he’s been getting threatening messages and questions from the families of longtime patients. “No one ever bothered to get my side of the story or give me the chance to defend myself.”
Ortiz is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in March, when he’ll go before an actual judge, and Madden has said that she’s going to be there. No word on whether she’s going to be bringing her army of online commenters along with her.
Follow @VictorFiorillo on Twitter.