By The Associated Press
A fertility doctor who was accused of using his own sperm to impregnate several patients died over the weekend when a plane he had built disarmed mid-flight and crashed, authorities said.
Dr. Morris Wortman, 72, of Rochester, was traveling in a small craft plane that went down Sunday in a grassy area in Orleans County. The pilot, Earl Luce Jr. of Brockport, also died, according to the county sheriff.
The crash of the aircraft, identified by the National Transportation Safety Board as a Wittman W-5 Buttercup aircraft, is under investigation.
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Preliminary results indicate that "the aircraft's wings slipped off the fuselage and fell to the ground in an orchard," Sheriff Christopher Bourke said in a news release released Monday. The fuselage continued its journey for another 1,000 to 1,5000 yards before crashing.
A well-known gynecologist fallen into disgrace
Wortman was a well-known obstetrician and gynecologist in western New York who was frequently targeted by anti-abortion protesters. He was sued in 2021 by the daughter of one of his patients, who became pregnant in the 1980s.
The lawsuit said the doctor secretly used his own sperm and told patients the donor had been a local medical student. He also claimed that the doctor kept the secret even after the woman, his biological daughter, became his gynecology patient.
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The woman discovered Wortman was the donor after a DNA test revealed she had at least nine siblings, the medical malpractice complaint said.
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The lawsuit, which is pending in Monroe County Court, said a follow-up DNA test given to Wortman's daughter from his first marriage confirmed the genetic link.
Wortman did not comment when the lawsuit was filed.