Victim's mother - a Georgia prosecutor - is out to get me: DWI suspect


Monday, November 16th 2009, 4:00 AM

Faye McCormack lost her son Fred (below) to an accused drunken driver.

Putting drunken drivers behind bars is Fay McCormack's business. Jailing the man who ran down her son last year is personal.

The veteran Georgia prosecutor is pressing for prosecution instead of a plea bargain in the Oct. 11, 2008, death of her son, Fred - struck by a car and killed in East New York, Brooklyn.

The lawyer for driver Michael Ortiz says an overzealous McCormack took this case too personally, pushing Brooklyn prosecutors to charge his Queens client despite a weak case.

Ortiz, of Howard Beach, stayed at the accident scene and called 911. He agreed to take a Breathalyzer test and registered .04 - about half the legal limit, defense lawyer Eric Franz said.

Yet the 22-year-old defendant was charged with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and driving while under the influence.

Fay McCormack, who spent 18 years as a prosecutor in Fulton County, Ga., is unmoved by Franz's allegation.

"In Georgia, if you kill somebody by driving drunk, you are going to jail for some time," she said. "I hope the same things happens in Brooklyn. I hope there is no plea deal."

Fred McCormack, 28, was struck by Ortiz's Honda at Conduit and Pitkin Aves., near his Brooklyn home.

Ortiz was speeding - traveling 49 mph in a 40 mph zone - and admitted downing two bourbons before the accident, court papers say. His dad is Officer Luis Ortiz, a 10-year NYPD veteran.

He's due in court Nov. 23.

McCormack is a traffic safety coordinator, training and advising Georgia law enforcement about prosecuting DWI cases.

She said her attention to her son's case, including a recent meeting with Brooklyn prosecutors, demonstrates that her city counterparts shared her concerns.

"When you drive while drunk, your car is a weapon, just like a gun is a weapon," said McCormack. "That's how the prosecutors in Brooklyn feel, too."

At the time of his death, Fred McCormack was working as a contracting consultant with the Education Department and had applied to law school.

The gifted violinist played in the orchestra while at Emory University and was looking to start his own quartet.

"He was an amazing musician," Fay McCormack said.

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My response in the comments section:

2:54:49 AM
Nov 22, 2009

Let us be clear: This case is a case called Driving While Intoxicated. This means one driving intoxicated is not aware, clear and safe while driving a vehicle. A pedestrian stands little chance against an intoxicated driver. I am sure Mr. Ortiz is a nice guy, with great plans ahead. But he took the life and killed another nice guy, with great plans ahead. Let us be clear. The initial investigation and treatment on the scene is definitely not up to par. Witnesses' names, numbers and info were not collected. There were many. Mr. Ortiz was given time, hours, before he had to take any alchol-measuring device. Many hours passed, as Mr. McCormack laid in the road before an actual investigation in the accident seemed to occur. That intersection is known for being dangerous as well. When people are speeding down the conduit, they, especially when under the influence, forget they are heading into a residential area. They try to speed through the light, while people, like in normal New York resi
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2:57:30 AM
Nov 22, 2009

They try to speed through the light, while people, like in normal New York residential areas, would be crossing. The speed limit is the speed limit. When heading into an area where there is a stop light, the light is changing, normal intuition is to slow down. While intoxicated, crossing pedestrians are the least of one's concerns. Please, let us be clear here. Some things would not be left up just the DA's office to handle. Others have to do their part - investigate. The truth of the matter is that there were many, many 911 calls, many people on the scene, many people who could testify that Mr. Ortiz was in the wrong. But where are all these witnesses, for example those at the crowded gas station or the fast food restaurant at the same intersection? None of their statements were taken, although their phone calls to 911 prove that they did see something, and they did react. I am sorry for Mr. Ortiz. But I think the Ortiz family has been so concerned about his innocence that they've had
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2:58:38 AM
Nov 22, 2009

The truth is what was offensive as a member of the family sitting in the court room the first time, and many other times, was how smug the Ortiz family all seemed. An apology to the family of the victim would be an admission of guilt, ill advised by attorney I am sure. But decency. Common decency. To equate your loss because of his age and his college bound status to the fact that someone we loved died, it is a disgrace. We felt the sting of that disgrace the first day in court and our MADD representative stood up and wrote letters to anyone who would listen regarding a judge equating that two families had lost so much. The DA wants to prosecute this case. I stand behind them. They know the weaknesses and they still believe a crime was committed. My only hope is at some point during this, Mr. Ortiz attend Mothers Against Drunk Driving meetings, especially the annual vigil many branches have for all those lost. I am petitioning public officials to have some sort of timeline after an ac
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2:59:41 AM
Nov 22, 2009

I am petitioning public officials to have some sort of timeline after an accident that blood alcohol levels could be checked. It is the right thing. It is wrong to be allowed to sober up ahead of time. It is wrong to drive intoxicated. It is illegal. A pedestrian stands little chance against a speeding car. A pedestrian has the right of way, especially in New York City. Always. Please re-read your driver's handbook. That is the law. What makes this so personal is that it really should not be such a fight for people to understand what Driving While Intoxicated means and that it is against the law. When people scream that a personal vendetta is taking place, remember those who have been fighting for traffic safety for years don't stop fighting just because it becomes personal. It makes you fight harder.
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4:14:27 PM
Nov 22, 2009

by the way, I am Mr. McCormack's one and ONLY sister. So yes, I too am out to get justice.

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  1. That's right Aunty Fay!!!!!! You keep fighting!

  2. That's right Aunty Fay!!!!!! You keep fighting!

  3. the system at the base route follows that,
    will result discipline in the society at large.

    lets take a look at the increasing number of cases,every year.

    the world will change when the system follows
    will bring self discipline in the society at large.
    we all come across situations of perplexing crossroads , i just open the door of my soul. listen to it.


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