'He was a hardworking man:' Family mourns man killed by alleged impaired driver

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'He was a hardworking man:' Family mourns man killed in crash (KTRK)

The lives of a Houston couple were changed forever on April 2.

"They were at a stoplight. They were behind other cars. They were just waiting for the light to turn green, and the next thing they know, my mom's foot is in the dashboard and my dad is in extreme pain," said Jennifer Rojas.

The Houston Police Department said a Cadillac slammed into the back of the truck that was carrying Juan Ortiz and his wife at the intersection of South Post Oak and Gasmer, causing a chain reaction.

"He was probably going 50 or 55 miles per hour," said witness T.J. Brock.

Brock was at the light and said his vehicle and several others were also damaged. He said he saw the Cadillac swerving several lights before, and believes the driver was impaired.

"It was pretty erratic. I was in a lane next to him and he kept coming over to my lane," said Brock.

Brock says he and another witness shared their concerns over the driver being impaired with officers at the scene.

After Rojas heard the driver of the Cadillac may have been impaired, she was concerned.

"He should have been arrested on the spot," said Rojas.

However, he was not arrested and he has not been charged.

The accident report was just released on Tuesday. It indicates that no drug or alcohol specimen was taken from any of the drivers, including the driver of the Cadillac that HPD says was at fault.

"That's more than controlling your speed. You're impaired. Something's going on," said Rojas.

Eyewitness News did some investigating and found the driver of the Cadillac has been convicted of three DWI's and is currently on probation.

As for Juan Ortiz, he was laid to rest on Tuesday. His wife is still in the hospital and could not attend the funeral.



Juan's three children and other family members are hoping impaired drivers are taken off the streets.

"He was a good hardworking man. He cared a lot about his family and his grandchildren," said Chris Rojas, Ortiz's son-in-law.
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