Thursday, March 08, 2018

So this guy crashes into my car at 7th and St. Louis- and naturally, it seems he has no insurance

Someone upstairs must have noticed that I had gone almost six months without anything happening to me.

It was September 11 when a man who was upset with my reporting came to my apartment and sent me to the Freeman emergency room with one punch.

This time, my face was spared (though whether or not that is a good thing, I will leave up to you), but my car was not.

I decided on the spur of the moment Wednesday afternoon to check in on Changing Hands Book Shoppe and Always Buying Books to see how my books were doing.

A line of cars was in the right lane running in front of the Discount Smokes. I drove into the turn lane to go left on 7th. Someone left an opening for a driver to pull out of the Discount Smokes parking lot. He did so without looking to see if someone was in the turn lane.

The man, who I found out a few moments later was named Nicholas Anthony Ortega, drove his black F-150 into the back passenger side of my vehicle, crunching it in and knocking out all of the glass from the window.

His vehicle did not suffer any damage at all.

I pulled into the parking lot at the car wash. Ortega kept going, but apparently went around the block and returned. He said he wanted to exchange information because he needed to get home to his kids.

I told him I would prefer to call the police and wait for them to arrive. He made it clear he had no interest in doing that and the reason became apparent when the "information" he provided me was not proof of insurance, but a State Farm card.

I turned over my insurance information and he said he had to go. I told him I was calling the police and asked him to wait.

"i can't wait," he said. "I have to get home to my children. That was why I was in a hurry."

He left without waiting for the police. I called the Joplin Police Department, but I was having a hard time hearing what the dispatcher was saying because of the noise. Normally, I can hear conversations when I am in my car, but with the glass gone from the back side passenger window, I had a hard time hearing over the rush hour traffic.

My call was also cut off toward the end, so I waited for the police to arrive. When I was still waiting 20 minutes later, I finally pulled out, my car making the most horrendous scraping sound, and drove back to my apartment complex so I could call my insurance company before it closed.

The company jumped right on it and called me this morning to tell me the news I had feared- the Joplin insurance agency whose card Ortega handed me had never heard of him.

Now does that mean without a doubt that he did not have insurance- no, but it certainly appears that way.

After I examined his record last night, I had no doubt about it.

A search shows Ortega has had a number of traffic violations and has been involved in one lawsuit after he caused another accident on March 13, 2013.

According to the petition in Christina Higdon's lawsuit against Ortega, she was driving northbound on Illinois Avenue, when she reached 7th.

"Defendant Nicholas Ortega was operating a 2001 Hyundai Sonata westbound on 7th Street at a high rate of speed when he drove through a steady red light violently colliding with plaintiff's vehicle and causing her serious injuries."

Higdon suffered a wrist injury that required surgery and injuries to her foot, knee, head, neck, back and body, according to the petition.

The case was settled for an amount that is not included in Jasper County Circuit Court records. also shows Ortega pleaded guilty to charges of speeding (more than 20 miles over the limit), failure to register motor vehicle and two times for seat belt violations.

Most of Ortega's problems have occurred within the Joplin city limits.

 According to Joplin Municipal Court records, Ortega has pleaded guilty to the following charges:

-December 11, 2004- speeding 58 in a 35

-December 11, 2004- compliance with request for information by police officers

-December 16, 2011- Seat belt violation

-July 13, 2011, license plate violation

-July 13, 2011- no license on person

-March 18, 2013- failure to stop at steady red signal

-May 4, 2013- seat belt violation

-May 4, 2013- defective equipment

-August 19, 2013- failure to maintain financial responsibility

-August 19, 2013- no license on person

-June 30, 2015- seat belt violation

-August 30, 2015- defective equipment

-October 5, 2015- disturbing the peace

So when I heard from my insurance company that the company whose card Nicholas Anthony Ortega, 30, 1508 E. 5th Street, Joplin MO 64801 handed me did not have him as a client, it came as no surprise.

My insurance company, which appears certain to be handling this, would like to call Ortega if anyone could get his number to me.

I fully intend to fill out a report on the incident as soon as I have a car I can use to get to the police department. That is also in the works.

That being said, while I am angry, I am not sitting around feeling sorry for myself. I was not hurt in the accident, though I am sore from having to take my book inventory out of my car and carrying it up to my apartment. It could be a lot worse.

What I worry about is what is going to happen the next time this man gets into a hurry. The next person in his way may not be as lucky as I was.


Pat Payne said...

So sorry, Randy. It is totally frustrating when things like this happen, even if you are thankful not to be hurt. The young man who ran a red light and totaled my car about a year ago also had no insurance. Fortunately, I wasn't hurt either, but both accidents could have resulted in serious injuries. He ended up in court over the ticket, of course, and was ordered to pay restitution for my car through the victim's fund, but I have never received a dime. Pursue it for sure. With his driving record, he needs to be off the streets.

Steve Holmes said...

Methinks he pissed off the wrong guy. Hell hath no fury like an investigative reporter hit by a guy with no insurance.

Watch for the emotional aspect, Randy. My car was rear-ended in heavy traffic. Scariest thing I ever experienced. It affected my driving. Your experience may affect yours.

Anonymous said...

Theres a accident report you can file with the State that will revoke his license will need to sue him in small claims and win...but he won't be able to get a license until he pays you...I've had to do it.

Anonymous said...

Glad you were not hurt as that can make things worse. By the way, I have lived in Joplin since 1984 and my family has been struck by 6 (six) other parties, in which we did not contribute to the collision, but were forced to pay for my damages, since they were all not insured.4 left the scene also in the total. I have to maintain collision coverage on my older cars as I must file on my policy, in order to get my car fixed. I have an idea of how you feel
but also feel that me ,you, or someone will have it happen again and there is limited things that can be done.

Anonymous said...

Well, Randy to be direct Karma is a B@tch. For years you have prayed on the tidbits in people's lives and it seems that life is now paying you back. The saying what goes around comes around. In the not so distant past, someone apparently paid you a visit and deposited a few blows to your person for destroying their life. It's not the first time you have spewed gossip about people standing over them and lauding as if you are perfect. We have yet to see you retract a single statement or adjust the record despite the facts and multiple contacts by many many people providing you the facts. Case in point in 2016 you created an article and posed judgment on three local businessmen posting "fraud" on your page and then recounting every salacious tidbit of a rambling federal complaint by a foreign (Russian) "businessman" who made allegations from afar. Those three local men stood in the federal courtroom and soundly defeated (Pro Se- I must add) one of the top five law firms with a staff of over 15 lawyers working AGAINST them. At the end of the day, the case was dismissed as the "accuser" had been discovered to have engaged in international espionage AND could not make his case on his blatantly false, fabricated, and fraudulent allegations. Did you retract your story? NO. DId you write a post declaring the men's innocence? NO. Did you remove your "fraud" logo from your original post? no. Even after these men asked you to retract, did you? No. Why? well, Randy, we all know why. You are a hack, yellow "journalist" at best and primarily a frustrtaed school teacher or is that an ex-school teacher who preaches on high. In short, you are a hypocrite. And now, Karma is coming and delving out the dose you have levied upon others on your own swine self. How about going off and correcting the records of all the allegations you have posted and have been found to be false? We all know you lack the assets for anyone to sue as its a loss leading proposition. So it seems Karma has decided to even the scales of justice. Welcome to the world you have sown.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear this Randy. I hope it all works out for the best.

Anonymous said...

If he was adamant about needing to rush home solely for the kids, it leads me to wonder if the kids were old enough for his risked quick run to the smoke/liquor store. It's a shame you didn't call the police once you were home, because they could have (and still can go) gone to your residence to take a report. However, a day or two later would make it difficult for police to ascertain if he was dui or dwi - or if the said children were at an improper age to be left alone unsupervised.

Anonymous said...

Press charges, property damage in excess of $500, something needs done to these people, I understand everyone falls on hard times. If you don’t have insurance at least do us all a favor and drive like you don’t have insurance. Funny there is always money fir smokes...

Anonymous said...


Can you tell us what year F150 it was?

Did he allegedly hit your car with a late model full pimp King Ranch F150?

Or was it a 20 year old full hooptie handyman special F150?

Also do you know if the uninsured driver was the registered owner? Or did someone else hep get this jabroni on down the road?

Randy said...

In answer to Anonymous 4:18. I never retracted the post or changed it because it was accurate then and it is accurate now. No one anywhere declared anyone's innocence except the defendant in the lawsuit. The first of multiple times that I was threatened with a lawsuit on my reporting on this lawsuit, I checked the court records, confirmed that the case had been dismissed, though with no declaration of innocence. The dismissal was a technical decision and, in fact, it was dismissed without prejudice, leaving the door open for the case to be refiled.

As I prepared to write that post, I reviewed what I had written in the past...and discovered that I had already written that the case had been dismissed not leaving out anything that was in the court record, and the defendant was fully aware I had written that when the lawsuit threat was made.

Perhaps what happened to me was karma, but if it was, it was definitely not for my refusal to back down to a bully's effort to get me to remove a story based completely on court records and asking me to make apologies and change facts to something that was not reflected in the record.

You obviously do not read this blog on a regular basis or you would know that when I am wrong, I admit it, often before anyone has even told me so. I do not try to cover up my mistakes.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if @ 4:18 decides it is Karma every time he needs to take some X-lax?

Or is it Karma when he needs some Imodium 5 minutes ago? Oooops!

Otherwise maybe he needs to sit on a cactus until he feels better?

Harvey Hutchinson said...

Have you determined if this guy is an illegal alien from Mexico or Central America?
If so , he should not be here nor have a Missouri drivers license.

PS: your car would be fine, as well as you having no potential bodily injury
Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text

Randy said...

Harvey, I never even had one thought about that. I have known several people with the last name Ortega, have had some in my classrooms and have known some who have served our country in the armed services and I am fairly certain that all of them I knew who were of driving age had insurance. I look at this one as being a man who has the last name Ortega who apparently did not have any insurance. I have never seen any statistics on it, but I am betting that most of the people who drive without insurance and cause accidents are citizens.

james l moore said...

Randy I too am happy that you were not injured but I think you are placing way too much faith on uninsured motorists being otherwise legal.Every time I read an article concerning a undocumented person being involved in an accident it bolsters my convictions about building a wall . If someone is in our country Illegally do you think they are concerned with a drivers license auto inspections car tags or insurance. when I read an accident report involving them my mind immediately goes to the thought that if they weren't in this country the accident wouldn't have happened. Why is it that many of the so called dreamers have been here for 20 years but never consider becoming a citizen. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo did not end the American mexico war. It's still alive and being fought every day.JMOORE

Anonymous said...

If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, a report should be made to the Missouri Department of Revenue if:

If you believe that one of the parties may be uninsured;
The accident occurred in Missouri; and,
The damage to property of any person exceeds $500; or,
The accident results in bodily injury or death.

Steve Holmes said...

More than 16 hours before the first comment about illegal aliens appeared. That's longer than I expected.

I was rear-ended in 2009 by a guy with a Latino name. Didn't know if he was in the country legally. Didn't even think about it. Legal or not, he put my life in jeopardy. If he commits a crime and he's in this country illegally, deport him. If he's a good, old, patriotic American who commits a crime, deport him to the nearest jail. We see too many cases in which someone kills someone while behind the wheel and then we learn his entire driving life was building up to this. Ortega or Smith, I don't give a flying f*** how he spells his last name. STOP CODDLING SERIAL OFFENDERS.

Anonymous said...

your comment about your "correctness" is false. the federal case cited you placed a "fraud" banner on your website. and after the dismissal, it remains there. if you were a lawyer, you'd find that it's NOT a technicality as the proper process would have been to ask for summary judgment. something the "claimant" failed to do as they could not make a claim. It's not against the law to lie about an accusation in a complaint, the court has to treat each complaint as truthful and allow someone to make their case. the dismissal was due to the failure to be able to. Your "judgment" has caused damage and continues to do so. I have spoken with the parties and you have NOT responded to any of them and they did not make a "threat" to you. both false statements which you commonly make. I personally think a "journalism teacher" would refrain from using salacious graphics and cower behind the argument "the complaint was made" and the "case was dismissed" as being factual when you are accusing people directly and in public of being fraudulent. These men were not... clearly. Or the case would have gone to trial. It did not. That is judgment in its own right. The inability to make a case, the ability to file another claim in the future isn't relevant, its a process of law. But it seems since the three men beat a major law firm without lawyers speaks volumes to the weakness of the Russians claims against three area business men. Spend several millions of dollars in legal fees just to dismiss the case? Sounds more like a slander play to a sane person... and that is exactly what you continue to do. Slander people.

Harvey Hutchinson said...

To Randy at 5:02am,
The last name or Christian name is the MOST immaterial point in the discussion. Was he able to document that he was legal in the US?
Could have been a UK citizen.
I’m sorry for the left and Sanctuary town people, we HAVE to secure the borders, and maintain control the “Visa stay” terms.
Right now on our southern( and northern) illegals can come across by the thousands, even children.

“Catch & release” as so famously developed by then President Obama adds a multitude of ills to our society, possibly your vehicle and bodily harm.
Harvey HUTCHINSON 303-522-6622 voice&text 24/6

Harvey Hutchinson said...

Steve Holmes you are spot on again.
Perfect response ( I have a similar one in this thread)
Harvey HUTCHINSON 303-522-6622 voice&text 24/7

Anonymous said...

This may be another form of karma. Several years ago, Randy bragged about, and extolled the virtues of, Obama Care, and about how cheap his insurance was. He made no comment about it being taxpayer subsidized. (somebody else paying for his cheaper care) With Randy's insurance paying for this claim if he has uninsured motorist coverage, he's subsidizing someone without auto insurance. As a Liberal, who not only encourages this kind of wealth redistribution, he's also a recipient. Randy shouldn't have written an article complaining about this occurrence. He should be celebrating it!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like that there Tracy feller done knowed what it's all about. That there danged Obummycare made us pay fer insuance sted of going without it. Hell, my money needed to go for ammo, guns, tattoos and cases o' beer! All the publican needs o' life! Now we gits to go get free treatment ever time something happens. Proud to be a publican! Make 'Murrica Grate Agin! Here, hold my beer! Time to run an' see did the welfare check make it. Them damned liberals cain't take that away!