Sometimes, despite the best of our intentions, the worst truly happens. Unacceptable and inexcusable evil strikes the innocent down dead. It does so for no reason, and it does so for nobody’s benefit. Evil, simply just is.
Other times, the worst of consequences should and could have been prevented. Huntsville, Alabama teenagers Leigh Anna Jimmerson and Tad Mattle appear to have been stricken down by just such an act of unconscionable non-random malice. They were rear-ended by a drunken driver Friday night and killed. The drunken driver was obviously in our country illegally.
I’ll repeat in a voice of outrage that this entire sordid event could have easily been prevented. The killer, Felix Dominguez Ortega, has a laundry list of priors that should have precluded him from legally riding a tricycle.
The man charged in the fatal wreck involving two young Huntsvillians has outstanding warrants for driving under the influence, police said.
Felix Dominguez Ortega, 25, has also been arrested under the name Adan Herrera with a birth date of Aug. 8, 1985. Police said Ortega also used the name Reynaldo Martinez and Juan Sanchez.
Ortega has also been charged with possession of a forged instrument, driving without a license and a seat belt violation, according to police. Ortega is in the metro jail with his bond on the murder charges set at $2 million.
Sgt. Mark Roberts said police are unsure whether Ortega is an illegal immigrant.
Perhaps the saddest aspect of all of this is that the accident occurred soon after a police cruiser has spotted Ortega driving erratically. The cruiser was attempting to close distance between himself and Ortega to read Ortega’s license plate and ID the vehicle.
The officer was "trying to catch up" to the truck to read the license plate number and was not immediately behind the truck, police Sgt. Mark Roberts said Saturday afternoon.
Roberts said Saturday that police received a call at 8:53 p.m. about a drunk driver in a white pickup truck that had left an apartment complex parking lot on Squaw Valley Drive after hitting a parked vehicle.
Fled when saw lights
Roberts said that about three minutes later the patrol officer spotted the pickup truck traveling east on Johnson Road, and the truck driver fled when he saw the patrol car's lights.
So a man with no legal address of record, four separate aliases, a set of fake IDs and a long list of priors for flying blind has just killed two young people. If this man isn’t illegally in the United States, I’ll pay $50 to anyone who presents proof of his legal status. Show me a properly filled out I9 on the man, and I’ll personally apologize for ever stating that he was an illegal alien before the Huntsville Police publically confirm this obvious fact.
So why does this matter anyway? Former Alabama University and Oakland Raiders QB Ken Stabler isn’t illegal and his drunken driving arrest was the Huntsville scandal de jour a few months back.
It matters because this never would have happened had our law enforcement apparatus properly done its job. Mr. Otega would not have been on Whitesburg Drive and probably wouldn’t have been present in Alabama at all, had he been properly prosecuted for his illegal status when he first began wracking up aliases, fake IDs, and legal problems. If our nation had properly secured its borders and ports years ago, Mr. Ortega would never have gotten his first DUI.
Also obviously true, whether it’s Mr. Touchdown, or whether it’s Cheech Moran, the laws against driving drunk should be mercilessly enforced. That truth should also be addressed. Alabama has the wherewithal to handle that one internally. The failure of state authorities to do so should get people fired and unelected from government positions state wide.
The problem with Mr. Ortega was two-fold, however. His lack of legal status makes his case at least partially the fault of our continued lackluster Federal efforts to stop illegal immigration. Just recently, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano upbraided Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his rigorous interpretation of laws about crossing the US border without inspection.
Well, you know, Sheriff Joe, he is being very political in that statement, because he knows that there aren’t enough law enforcement officers, courtrooms or jail cells in the world to do what he is saying.
What we have to do is target the real evil-doers in this business, the employers who consistently hire illegal labor, the human traffickers who are exploiting human misery.
And yes, when we find illegal workers, yes, appropriate action, some of which is criminal, most of that is civil, because crossing the border is not a crime per se. It is civil. But anyway, going after those as well.
In my opinion, Sheriff Joe should get more political. Poor political decisions, rendered by elected leaders, have allowed the Felix Dominguez Ortegas of the world to ruin lives in the United States. The tragedy that occurred Friday night, on Whitesburg Drive, in Huntsville, Alabama was partially manufactured by politicians.
I’m not making this tragedy political by pointing out the obviousness of Ortega being an illegal alien. It’s a series of bad political decisions involving the non-enforcement of both immigration and drunken driving laws that killed two innocent teenagers. This tragedy was already political. I’m just one mad citizen with a blog who egregiously states the obvious.