A new Wisconsin State Patrol indicates a mother is to blame for a crash that killed her and her daughter after she collided with Senator Janet Bewley.
Alyssa Ortman, 27, was reportedly driving 100mph the second before crashing into Bewley’s car on Highway 2 in Ashland, Pennsylvania. The July 22 crash killed both Ortman and her 5-year-old daughter, Khaleesi Fink.
Initial reports indicated Bewley, 70, pulled out in front of the vehicle driven by Ortman before her car spun out, colliding with another car driven by Jodi Munson, 45.
Currently, Fink’s father, Brandon, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Bewley alleging she, Munson and Ortman were responsible for his daughter’s death.
The new report indicates Ortman is at fault for the collision, despite Bewley pulling in front of her, because she was driving 55mph over the road’s listed 45mph speed limit.
Alyssa Ortman (right), 27, was driving 100mph at the time of her collision with Sen. Janet Bewley, killing both her and her 5-year-old daughter, Khaleesi Fink
A listed speed limit for the stretch of Highway 2 in Ashland, Pennsylvania, is 45mph
An initial report indicated Bewley had driven out in front of Ortman, who, after colliding with Bewley, spun out and hit another car on the road
Defendants in the lawsuit filed by Fink include Bewley, Munson and three insurance companies.
He requested a jury trial and is seeking damages of more than $10,000.
Fink asserts that Bewley failed to maintain a proper lookout, disregarded the right of way, and drove in a distracted state but claims Munson and Ortman also failed to keep a lookout and maintain proper speed while driving.
The crash happened while Bewley was being interviewed on the phone in her car and just a day after she underwent cataract eye surgery, she told the interviewer.
An Ashland police report obtained by the Associated Press says Bewley was distracted by her hands-free mobile phone at the time of the crash in July.
Fink alleges in the lawsuit that Bewley was distracted while driving. He also accused the mother of his daughter, Ortman, of failing to maintain control of her vehicle, resulting in their child’s death.
Bewley’s spokesperson, Joey Huey, said she had no comment.
The accident occurred when Bewley, 70, pulled out of the Maslowski beach parking lot in Ashland and into the path of a car driven by Alyssa Ortman, 27, according to the Ashland Police Department
Bewley pulled out of a Lake Superior beach parking lot and into the path of a car driven by Ortman on July 22 at around 12.30pm, according to police.
When Ortman’s car collided with Bewley’s it spun across the highway and was then hit by another vehicle driven by Munson.
Five-year-old Khaleesi was pronounced dead at the scene. Her mother was transported to a nearby hospital where she also died.
Ashland County District Attorney David Meany said his office has started receiving law enforcement reports on the crash but that any decision on whether to pursue charges is pending a complete review of the case.
It’s unclear how long that might take, he said.
At the time Fink called for justice for his daughter, saying that the politician should be treated just like ‘anyone else.’
Speaking to DailyMail.com, Fink said: ‘I found out a Senator killed my baby and they might not even press charges even though she was on the phone during the accident.
‘And just had cataract surgery the day before. I’m furious and want this Senator to come to justice and pay for what she did like anyone else would have to.
‘She shouldn’t get away with this.’
Wisconsin Senate Democratic Minority Leader Janet Bewley said in an interview that was taking place as the accident occurred that she had undergone cataract eye surgery the day before
It was later reported that Bewley was on the phone doing an interview with a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel intern at the time of the crash and told the intern that she had just undergone cataract surgery the day before.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Bewley fell silent mid-sentence during her phone interview with its intern Ben Baker.
During the interview, she revealed that she had received cataract surgery on Thursday, one day before the fatal wreck.
When asked by the interviewer if she was okay, Bewley said she was, but sounded shaken.
‘Yeah, I’m OK,’ she said, ‘This is not a good accident.’
Khaleesi’s father, Brandon Fink, criticized Bewley for not reaching out to him after the crash
An Ashland police report obtained by the Associated Press says Bewley was distracted by her hands-free mobile phone at the time of the crash
According to the Mayo Clinic and the American Optometric Association, patients are often advised not to drive for at least 24 hours following cataract surgery, which removes the natural lens of the eye and replaces it with an artificial lens.
Some doctors even suggest not getting behind the wheel until a patient is given the green light in a follow-up appointment.
Ashland Police Chief Bill Hagstrom confirmed that Bewley wasn’t injured in the crash and State Patrol was reconstructing the scene.
‘We’ll be sitting down with them and going over everything as far as determining how it all actually happened,’ Hagstrom said. ‘Then we’ll forward everything to the district attorney for their review because it was a fatal accident.
Ortman was a certified clinal medical assistant and for the past four years worked at Lincare, a company that supplies respiratory-therapy products and services for patients at home.
Fink paid an emotional tribute to his daughter, describing her as a ‘hilarious, insanely beautiful, and smart girl that had a drive for life that touched so many.’
He added at the time that Bewley had still failed to reach out to him after the tragedy, despite her office issuing a statement.
He wrote: ‘You lit up my life and gave me an ambition and drive I didn’t know was possible.
‘No matter what we just giggled out way through.. my life feels so empty without these giggles.
‘Nothing will make this OK. Nothing will make me feel better and no I don’t need anything.
‘I was supposed to get my daughter home here, at her house and be hearing silly stories about vacation … instead I got calls from the funeral home.’