For Huntsville Couple Still Grieving Son’s Loss, Illegal Immigration Debate Is Deeply Personal

Steve Doyle, The Huntsville Times, August 15, 2011

Dan Mattle and his wife, Terri, don’t consider themselves especially political.

But when critics hammered Alabama’s new immigration act as mean-spirited and racist, the south Huntsville couple decided to speak up in support of the Republican-sponsored bill.

In late June, Dan Mattle made his first appearance on talk radio and wrote his first letter to the editor.

GOP legislators are “making up for the fact that the federal government is derelict in its (immigration enforcement) duty,” he said this month. “None of these laws would have passed if they’d been doing their job.”

Immigration became a deeply personal issue for the Mattles just before 9 p.m. on April 17, 2009.

Their oldest son, Tad, was stopped in traffic at the busy intersection of Whitesburg Drive and Airport Road when Felix Dominguez Ortega, an undocumented resident fleeing from Huntsville police, slammed into the back of Tad’s Toyota Supra.

Police estimated Ortega’s pickup truck was traveling nearly 70 miles an hour; no skid marks were found.

Tad, a 19-year-old Eagle Scout who had just earned a full academic scholarship to the University of Alabama in Huntsville, died in the fiery crash along with his girlfriend, Grissom High School sophomore Leigh Anna Jimmerson.

Ortega, with a blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal limit, survived.

“Everyone calls it an accident,” Mattle said. “But that was no accident–it was a murder scene.”

A native of Mexico, Ortega eventually pleaded guilty to reckless murder and is serving a 15-year sentence at Bibb County Correctional Facility.

Municipal court records show that Ortega had three prior drunk-driving arrests in Huntsville under another name, Juan Sanchez. Police say he also used the aliases Adan Herrera and Reynaldo Martinez.

Mattle, 46, said he hopes Alabama’s immigration law will deter criminals like Ortega from sneaking across the border.

{snip}

Tad had things planned out.

His 32 ACT score had earned him a four-year scholarship to UAH, where he would major in mechanical engineering. Afterward, he would open his own auto body repair shop, maybe go on a Mormon mission to Germany.

He and Leigh Anna seemed destined to marry.

{snip}

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  • E Pluribus Pluribus

    “We are a nation of immigrants.”

    “We are a welcoming nation.”

    “Family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande.”

    “Immigrants do jobs Americans won’t do.”

    GOP nitwit George W. Bush singing the praises of illegal aliens, it the run up to his push — with John McCain, Lindsey Graham and almost the entire Democratic Party — to engineer a massive amnesty in ’06 and ’07.

    Bush failed to legalize illegal aliens, gave up and allowed some enforement in the last two years of his disastrous presidency. Will the rigged, early winner-take-all GOP primary system nominate another genuine fool to run against Obama?

    Early analysis of rising establishment star Rick Perry is not enouraging. I haven’t assembled a list of all the foolish things Perry’s said on immigration, so I can’t pronounce him definitely “Bush-league” (pun intended), but he looks as if he’ll easily meet the familiar GOP standard for its presidential nominees.

  • Anonymous

    15 years? Geez, at that point, his record clearly showed his insatiable appetite for drinking and driving. It was murder.

    The real ones that should be held accountable are in Washington, DC, and are the owners of businesses that hire illegals.

  • Lucas

    The US Government should be tried as an accomplice in this murder and the thousands of others since the Clinton administration.

    Every one of these tragedies should have been and most could have been stopped at the border. Clinton, Bush and Obama have failed to provide the most basic of Government responsibilities: protecting America from all enemies foreign and domestic.

    Let’s not vote another mistake into the White House next election.

  • Conrad

    Well, if they just were chasing that poor Mexican. He just wanted to improve his like so that he could practice his, oh so wonderful, family values. So now the white family wakes up!?

  • Who In Their White Mind?

    My heart goes out to this couple and the deceased girlfriend’s family as well. I can only say that this Mexican is an extremely destructive heavy drinker. Or a vehicular homicidal drunk driver. I am a member of a twelve step recovery program myself. I thank God all the time that I never killed anyone when I was drinking & driving. With that being said, I can’t help but think of the empty feeling and grief for the victims’ families.

    The bottom line here is the guy was here illegally, and these kids would still be alive if it weren’t for that fact. But I can assure you all that alcoholism DOES NOT discriminate. Black, White, Hispanic, Asian… This disease is a killer of humanity.

  • JT

    At one point there was an article on the Mothers Against Drunk Driving website that was written by a Hispanic woman. She pulled no punches and pretty much said what any cop knows; Mexicans treat drinking and driving like a part of cultural heritage. I find this to be true in my experience. The worst part of it is, they are exponentially the worst drunk drivers of anybody that I ever encountered. Why that is I don’t know. I can say from my experience that that is one area where blacks out perform whites, as dubious of an achievement as that may be, but neither comes close to how bad Mexicans are.

  • Anonymous

    I am disabled for life because of someone who was probably an illegal alien. I was crossing a residental street. A small White car made a turn. I woke up in hospital 11 hours later. There were no witnesses. I was found more than an hour after I had been hit by a couple who came out to walk their dog.The Drs knew it was more than an hour because the blood had cuagulated.

    I can’t say for sure that it was an illegal alien. The driver was a male, not young, and a pure indian hispanic. My city is infested with these 4ft 10 mixtex, toltec whatever mexican indians. He was one of them. None of them are here legally.

    Most of the bones from waist to knee on both sides were smashed. Some will never completely fuse.

    Since I am over 65 medicare pays for all my expenses. They sent me several letters wanting me to identify the driver and car so they could sue the driver’s insurance company for the medical expenses. I wrote back and told them to sue ICE and the Justice Department.

    Only abut 48 percent of drivers in my state are insured although by law all drivers must carry auto insurance.

    The hispanics don’t carry auto insurance so when they hit someone the victims insurance has to pay.

    But the insurance companies like every other business in the country loves illegal aliens so I feel no sympathy for them.

  • jewamongyou

    When I read stories like this one, I ask myself, “were the Mattles outspoken against Hispanic immigration BEFORE they lost their son?”

    What about black on white violence? Must the Mattles lose another child to black violence before the understand the danger IT poses?

    We can’t go on like this, not caring about important matters until they strike too close to home. If every white must lose a son or daughter in order to begin to stir from his slumber, by the time most whites are sufficiently aware, there will not be enough left of us to do anything.

    http://www.jewamongyou.wordpress.com

  • Henry

    What is happening to White Europeans all across the West is genocide, plain and simple.

  • Anonymous

    Rick Perry and his take on the border… BTW, Texas is FULL of Mexicans, both legal and illegal, just like California….Nary a word from the Governor. None of the candidates will do a darn thing about it either. Now they are trying to tell us that illegals are giving up trying to cross the border because of our “bad” economy…what a lie and a farce. Watch for Perry to tell us these “facts” in the near future.

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/08/17/7397978-perry-calls-idea-of-us-mexico-border-wall-ridiculous

  • where is the mainstream media?

    i guess we won’t be hearing about this story on abc world news with diane sawyer, now will we?

  • La Borracha

    I’m a drunk myself with 26+ years clean and sober through a 12 step program. I am VERY sorry for those two families who lost their beautiful kids. I am angry at our government for letting illegals into this country so unnecessary tragedies like this could happen. Yes, alcoholism is an equal-opportunity disease – but the drunk is ALWAYS the last to know. I certainly was. And you can bet this Ortega Chinga person is now in jail swearing he doesn’t have a problem with alcohol. He just has a problem getting caught!

  • Daniel

    Almost 30 years ago I was riding home from work with a friend because my car was in the shop ( Huntsville, Al.) We were rear ended at a stop light not very far from where this accident happened.

    Guess what, it was an illegal from India. We got the tag number but they never found her, they guessed that she went back to India. Seems things never change.

  • Jeddermann.

    “’Everyone calls it an accident,’ Mattle said. ‘But that was no accident—it was a murder scene.'”

    That is exactly what it was, a murder scene. This villain was fleeing the cops, committing a crime, and behaving in a manner that caused the deaths of two persons, taking action that resulted in two deaths. Normally considered to be 3rd degree murder. And ONLY 15 years for two such deaths? Perhaps he has a family back in Mex he was supporting. The illegal alien whatever his real name is is just a plain old bad guy!

  • Anonymous

    the current racial climate is going to bring the country back to segragation because people and workers in stores will be so afraid of blacks that they will either shut down or refuse to work in the store. it might wind up being the best thing ever for the country.

  • Periapsis

    I live in Alabama and I support this law. I was nearly killed in a head on collision late at night when for no apparent reason someone in a GMC SUV veered into my lane and barreled straight at me so quickly I barely had time to avoid hitting him head on. He smashed the whole driver side of my car, veered back into his lane then sped off, just like the illegal aliens do to evade arrest. He is a felon and he better hope I never find him. Another near miss was beyond any doubt caused by another illegal who nearly hit me head on the same way, but this time in broad daylight and I got a good look at him. I’ve seen Mestizos so drunk they weaved all over the place, and were sweating profusely in the middle of January. I’ve called the police on these people several times driving smashed out of their minds. As far as I am concerned, if Mestizo is behind the wheel on the roads here in my state, he is here illegally, he is driving drunk or on drugs, and he has no insurance and no license, registration or anything else I am required to pay for at great expense to be able to drive legally. The more I am around them, the more I hate and despise them.

  • Anonymous

    6 — JT wrote at 8:21 PM on August 17:

    “… Mexicans treat drinking and driving like a part of cultural heritage. I find this to be true in my experience. The worst part of it is, they are exponentially the worst drunk drivers of anybody that I ever encountered. Why that is I don’t know.”

    JT, this is a VERY SIMPLE, MEDICALLY AND HISTORICALLY DOCUMENTED ISSUE;

    Amerinds- Mestizos also, of course, are EXTREMELY (genetically) susceptible to rampant alcoholism, and the more severe ill effects of alcohol, of ALL types.

    They are lousy drunks, and they get hooked real easy.

    DONE.

  • (AWG) Average White Guy

    Impounding the vehicles of uninsured motorists would greatly decrease the number of illegal aliens (intoxicated and sober) from wheeling about America’s highways and byways.

  • June

    What a heart-wrenching story. My condolences to the families of the two young people, so promising, that were the victims of another drunk driving killer. This crime is so prevalent now, that I would like to see it treated as Murder One. That may stop some other person, such as these kids and the poster who is disabled for life, from being killed or injured. However, since this seems to be a cultural thing among Mexicans, it will probably continue until we get leaders who care about their own people rather than pandering to illegal aliens and their supporters. This crime and all others can be laid directly at the feet of those who don’t have the backbone to stop the invasion and get illegals out of this country.

  • Jack

    “Family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande.”

    Of course they do, you ever look up age of consent laws in that hell hole?

    Mexico is a third world trash hole where the majority of young teenage females are impregnated by an uncle or other family member.

  • Tim Mc Hugh

    Congratulations to the guy with 26+ years of sobriety… Keep up the good work!!!

  • Anonymous

    This has happened all over the country, including my town. A high school teacher was riding his bicycle on the side of the street when a drunk Mexican illegal hit him and ran. They eventually arrested him. His girlfriend, a pretty blonde, actually went to the victims church and said that she would hold a car wash to help the family of the victim. She used the money to bail out the perp, who fled to Mexico.

    Lovely tale of Diversity, isn’t it?

  • Anonymous

    ESCONDIDO CA

    Police arrested a man who had been previously deported three times on suspicion of drunken driving, resisting arrest and hit-and-run, according to the Escondido Police Department.

    Juan Tello Flores, 25, was stopped by officers in the area of Bear Valley Parkway and Suburban Hills Drive about 9:12 p.m. Sunday on suspicion of drunken driving, said Lt. Craig Carter.

    The man allegedly fled and officers chased the vehicle until it crashed into two other vehicles, injuring one person, Carter said.

    Flores was booked into the Vista jail on various charges, including felony hit-and-run, drunken driving, driving on a suspended license, resisting arrest and felony evading with injury, according to police. Immigration authorities placed an immigration hold on Flores.

    The man had been formally deported three times and had voluntarily returned to Mexico 12 times, Carter said. He also had five previous drunken driving arrests, Carter said.