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Police arrest man who fled Plank Road crash

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 5:11 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 2:29 a.m. CDT
Fransico Ortega, 46, of the 1300 block of Pleasant St., DeKalb, was charged with leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident related to a Saturday crash on Plank Road.

SYCAMORE – A 46-year-old DeKalb man accused of walking away from Saturday's crash on Plank Road that injured a Sycamore woman was arrested early Tuesday after a family member tipped off police.

Francisco Ortega, of the 1300 block of Pleasant Street, was charged with leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident and driving without a driver's license or insurance. If convicted of the most serious charge, he would face up to three years in prison.

Ortega's brother, Sixto Ortega, called the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office about 2:50 a.m. Tuesday to tell them his brother was the driver of the pickup truck which rear ended a Chevrolet Malibu driven by Debra Terpin, 53, of Sycamore, court records show.

Terpin said she was treated for a minor concussion after the crash, which happened about 6 a.m. Saturday, when a semitrailer hit an icy patch and went off the road. The semi jack-knifed, its trailer was blocking the road, which caused Terpin to swerve out of the way and into a snow bank, police said.

While Terpin's vehicle was in the snow bank, police said it was rear-ended by a Ford F-150 pickup driven by Francisco Ortega, who ran from the scene after the crash.

Police went to Ortega's home just before 3 a.m. Tuesday, and he admitted to driving the pickup, saying he lost control because of icy conditions and fled because he was worried he had injured someone while driving without a license or insurance, court records show.

The car is registered to Francisco Ortega's wife, Estefania Ortega, records show.

Francisco Ortega told police he got out of the pickup and walked to Casey's General Store in Sycamore, where he got a ride to work. He said he put his head down to avoid being seen when the car drove past police.

Francisco Ortega was being held in the Dekalb County Jail on Tuesday morning, unable to post 10 percent of his $5,000 bond. He indicated he would hire an attorney to represent him. His next court date is scheduled for Feb. 13.

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