Dr. Morris Wortman, a prominent fertility doctor from Rochester, tragically lost his life when the hand-built plane he was a passenger in disintegrated mid-flight and crashed. The incident occurred on Sunday, May 29, in Orleans County, claiming the lives of both Dr. Wortman and the pilot, Earl Luce Jr., according to authorities. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is currently investigating the crash, which involved an experimental aircraft known as a Wittman W-5 Buttercup.
Initial reports suggest that the wings of the aircraft detached from the fuselage and plummeted into an orchard, as stated in a news release by Sheriff Christopher Bourke. Meanwhile, the fuselage continued its trajectory westward for another 1,000 to 1,500 yards before crashing. The NTSB has confirmed its involvement in the investigation of the Wittman W-5 Buttercup crash, a plane that Luce, 70, had meticulously constructed as a replica of the original aircraft designed by Steve Wittman.
The Aviation Safety Network has reported that the registered identification of the plane was N18263, matching the description of the aircraft constructed by Luce. Tragically, Wortman, aged 72, who was known to face persistent protests from anti-abortion activists due to his profession, had boarded this ill-fated flight.
Wortman’s involvement in a controversial case had made headlines in 2021 when he was sued by Morgan Hellquist, the daughter of one of his former patients. The lawsuit alleged that Wortman had inseminated Hellquist’s mother, Jo Ann Levy, with his own sperm in January 1985 while falsely claiming that the donor was a local medical student. Shockingly, Wortman continued to conceal this secret even after Hellquist, his biological offspring, became his own gynecology patient.
The revelation of Wortman’s actions came to light when DNA genealogy tests uncovered that Hellquist had at least nine half-siblings, prompting her to file a medical malpractice suit. The lawsuit, which is currently pending in Monroe County Court, alleges that Wortman kept the truth hidden during the period between 1983 and 1985 when Hellquist’s mother received sperm injections from him, supposedly sourced from a medical student, at a rate of approximately two to three times per month, each costing $50.
The legal proceedings further revealed that follow-up DNA testing, including analysis with Wortman’s daughter from his first marriage, confirmed the undeniable genetic connection. Wortman’s alleged deceitful actions in using his own sperm without his patients’ knowledge or consent have generated significant outrage and raised serious ethical and legal questions regarding medical malpractice and the violation of patient trust.
As the aviation community mourns the loss of Dr. Morris Wortman and Earl Luce Jr., the legal proceedings surrounding Wortman’s alleged misconduct continue. The tragic plane crash has further highlighted the gravity of the accusations against the late fertility doctor, reminding society of the profound impact such actions can have on individuals and their families. It is hoped that justice will be served, providing closure and accountability for those affected by this deeply distressing case.