A prominent New York fertility doctor accused of secretly impregnating his patients was killed when the experimental hand-made airplane he was flying in fell apart mid-air over an upstate county.
Dr. Morris Wortman, 72, was a passenger in the plane when it went down Sunday in a pasture in Orleans County, killing him and pilot Earl Luce Jr., authorities said.
“The preliminary investigation indicates that the wings of the aircraft became detached from the fuselage and fell to the ground landing in an orchard,” Orleans County Sheriff Christopher Bourke said in a press release.
“The fuselage of the aircraft continued west approximately 1,000 to 1,500 yards before crashing into a pasture behind a residence,” the sheriff said, adding that the National Transportation Safety Board had staffers dispatched to the scene and would begin an investigation on Tuesday.
The NTSB identified the plane as a Wittman W-5 Buttercup, which Luce, 70, raved about online where he talked about hand-building the replica aircraft.
Wortman was a prominent OB-GYN from Rochester who has been the target of anti-abortion protests.
In 2021, the daughter of one of his former patients sued Wortman, claiming he secretly used his own sperm to impregnate her mother in the 1980s, claiming it was the sperm of a local med student.
The woman claimed she identified the doctor as her biological father through DNA testing — and said genealogy tests revealed that she had at least nine half-siblings, according to the lawsuit.
Morgan Hellquist, who filed her lawsuit in upstate Morgan County, accused Wortman of “gross, wanton and willful fraud,” and called his alleged actions so outrageous it “shocks the conscience.”
According to the lawsuit, Hellquist’s mother was treated by Wortman between 1983 and 1985, receiving sperm injections two or three times a month for $50 each, according to the suit.
Hellquist was born in September 1985 and went on to get married and have children — with Wortman as her gynecologist between 2012 and 2021, the lawsuit said.
Wortman’s attorney said at the time the lawsuit was filed that the doctor would not comment.
The suit is still pending in Monroe County Court.
With Post wires