Judge orders Galveston drunk driver to pay victim $862,118 in restitution

One of the frustrating aspects of drunk driving is that first time drunk drivers often face fines and probation but relatively soon after causing a drunk driving accident they have done everything the criminal law system required them to do and can move on with their life. Many times the people they injure continue to suffer from the effects of the accident, physically and psychologically, for many years.
A Galveston judge has ordered a drunk driver who crashed into a woman’s car, seriously injuring her, to pay the woman $862,118 in restitution to cover her medical expenses. Sarah Hrachovina Coreas, age 21, was seriously hurt in the crash that happened 18-months ago, and was present in court when the drunk driver‘s punishment was decided. Omar Santana Ortiz, 31, pleaded guilty to intoxication assault for the accident. The crash happened at the Gulf Freeway frontage road and 61st Street on October 18, 2010 – Ortiz was more than twice the legal limit for intoxication. Three cars were involved in the accident.
The restitution payments will be broken up into monthly payments of $7,184. Ortiz’ 10-year prison sentence was probated and he was ordered to do 10-years of community supervision. Who knows if Ortiz will ever repay anywhere near the $862,118 the judge ordered him to repay Sarah Coreas, but having the debt hang over him will hopefully serve as a reminder and go some way to deterring him from driving drunk and hurting someone else in another accident. Channel 2’s story is here.

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