ORLEANS COUNTY, N.Y. (WROC) — A local doctor accused of fertility fraud was killed in a plane crash alongside the pilot on Townline Road.
Sheriff Bourke of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office announced that the passenger was identified as 72-year-old Dr. Morris Wortman of Rochester and the pilot was identified as 70-year-old Earl Luce of Brockport. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
Wortman was a gynecologist from Rochester who faced accusations that he used his own sperm to inseminate women instead of using pre-planned insemination or an anonymous donation. Many people alleged that they took DNA tests and discovered they had had half-siblings that led back to Wortman.
Just after 5 p.m. Sunday, the Orleans County 911 Center received a call of a plane down on Townline Road in the town of Ridgeway.
First responders found a plane down behind a residence. Further investigation revealed an experimental plane’s wings were found on the east side of Townline Road in an apple orchard, and the fuselage was located on the west side of the roadway, about 600 yards from the roadway in a hay field.
According to investigators, the wings of the hand-built, experimental plane detached and fell to the ground. The fuselage continued to fly before crashing behind the home.
Initial indicators, according to Sheriff Bourke, are that the plane left the Gaines Airport on Rt. 279 in the town of Gaines. Sheriff Bourke says a witness said Luce had been giving rides to individuals during the day, which he believes may be the cause of the crash.
“It appears that it was a catastrophic mechanical failure that caused the plane to come apart,” Sheriff Bourke said.
Sheriff Bourke adds it appears that when the plane never returned at the airport, individuals became concerned, and arrived at the scene.
The investigation remains ongoing, according to Sheriff Bourke.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.