A man saved from his car after a Colorado highway washed out in September has filed papers indicating he wants to sue his rescuers.
A video of the dramatic rescue of Roy Ortiz during Colorado's record-breaking floods went viral last year. But Ortiz says officials didn’t realize he was trapped in the upside-down car for two hours and ignored pleas from his wife and brother to help him sooner.
On Sept. 12, Ortiz was driving on a washed out road near Highway 287 in Lafayette, when his 2003 Pontiac went tumbling into a creek.
“I started yelling again and I started making noise to let them know, those people, that I’m alive,” Ortiz said.
He said he moved to the back seat of the car in an attempt to survive.
Six months later, he filed a notice of intent to sue his rescuers and other authorities reluctantly, stating he can't afford his medical bills. Ortiz claims he suffered a total of $500,000 in damages.
“It’s unfortunate to have to try and cast liability and responsibility for this act of God on the men and women who risked their own lives,” his attorney, Ed Ferszt, told CBS Denver.
His legal documents state that the washed-out road should have been closed or at least marked, preventing the accident from happening in the first place. Two other cars at the scene also required rescue.
The North Metro Fire Department expressed sympathy for Ortiz.
“I’m sure it was a traumatic experience for him,” said spokeswoman Sara Farris. “Ultimately, we were just very grateful we were able to save his life that day.”