Macon County Chronicle

Driver Charged with DUI & Vehicular Assault

A Sumner County man and a male passenger were seriously injured in a one-vehicle accident on Highway 10 South, just north of McClanahan Lane, during the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 11, 2010.

Alberto M. Ortega, age 45, who was behind the wheel of a 1990 maroon Mercury Topaz, was heading southbound on Highway 10 with an unidentified male passenger, when he ran off the right side of the roadway, traveled approximately 200 feet down a ditch line, jumped a drive way entrance, and hit an unoccupied car in mid air that was parked due to the recent flood. The impact with the 2005 silver Dodge Neon, which belonged to Glenn and Penny Dickens, flipped the automobile over into a creek bed where it finally stopped.

While Ortega was able to exit the vehicle, his passenger had to be extricated by the Rescue Squad with the jaws of life, and both victims were immediately air lifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center, in Nashville, Tennessee.

According to Trooper Danny Fisher, the investigating officer, the driver was released from the hospital on Saturday morning, May 15th, and arrested later that afternoon. He was charged with vehicular assault, driving under the influence (4th offense), driving on a suspended license (4th offense), habitual traffic offender, seat belt violation, registration violation, insurance violation, and due care. He is being held without bond at the Macon County Justice Center and a General Sessions Court date has been set for Wednesday, May 19th, 2010.

Those responding to the scene included the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Macon County Sheriffs Department, Lafayette Fire Department, EMS, Rescue Squad, and the Macon County Chronicle.