July 25th is Felipe Ortiz’s 21first birthday. But instead of celebrating, he’s spending it locked up in the Pulaski County jail.
Police say some friends had a birthday party that stretched into the wee hours of Wednesday morning at the Eagle’s Nest Country Club when Ortiz got behind the wheel of a 2012 Toyota Forerunner. He was joined by Justin Duncan and Rebecca Anderson,18, who police say stood up…through the SUV’s sunroof. Ortiz couldn’t negotiate a curve on Clubhouse Drive, and crashed into a tree.
“Anytime you’re under the influence ...it is dangerous, but when you have other people in the vehicle to distract you, possibly standing up, sticking out through the sunroof…that makes it even more dangerous,” said Sheriff Todd Wood.
Felipe Ortiz is in jail charged with DUI, as well as first degree assault and wanton endangerment. He said he didn’t want to speak to reporters.
Ortiz lives with his parents, who own a Somerset restaurant. We went there, but we were told they were not available.
Anderson is a recent graduate of Southwestern High School and her Facebook page says she’s going to major in pre-med at UK this fall. Now she’s at that university’s hospital in fair condition.
Ortiz meanwhile faces at least two felonies and could serve time in prison for what started as a fun gathering with friends…but ended much differently.
“Accidents happen every day. Unfortunately, we worry about kids or adults for that matter not being responsible,” said Wood.
Police say they don’t think that Anderson’s injuries were life threatening.