By Biodun Busari
A fertility doctor, Morris Wortman, who resided in Rochester, New York, US, has died in the experimental aircraft that crashed in a pasture in Orleans County on Sunday.
The 72-year-old doctor had been accused of using his own sperm to impregnate numerous female patients.
Wortman died in the hand-built aeroplane with the pilot, Earl Luce Jnr of Brockport, according to the US local media.
The authorities said the aircraft fell apart mid-flight and crashed, as identified by the National Transportation Safety Board as a Wittman W-5 Buttercup aeroplane.
While an investigation was launched on Tuesday, preliminary findings have shown that “the wings of the aircraft became detached from the fuselage and fell to the ground in an orchard.”
Sheriff Christopher Bourke said in a news release Monday, adding that the fuselage continued west for another 1,000 to 1,500 yards before crashing.
Dr Wortman was popular in western New York and was often the target of anti-abortion protesters.
In 2021, he was sued by the daughter of one of his patients who became pregnant in the 1980s.
The lawsuit accused Dr Wortman of clandestinely using his own sperm while telling the patient looking to conceive that the donor had been a local medical student.
It alleged the doctor kept the secret even after his biological daughter later became his gynaecology patient.
After taking a DNA genealogy test, the daughter discovered that she has at least nine half-siblings, her medical malpractice suit said.
The lawsuit said the follow-up DNA testing with Dr Wortman’s daughter from his first marriage confirmed the genetic link.
He did not comment at the time the lawsuit was filed.