PALMER, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A Springfield man is out on bail tonight after being charged in connection with the death of 15-year-old Alex Ortiz.
Ortiz died on July 7 after police say the car driven by Carlos Adorno, a family acquaintance, went off the road and hit a tree.
Carlos Adorno was formally charged this morning with vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol.
The Commonwealth requested Adorno be held on a $5,000 cash bail, but the defense argued for it to be $1,000 and that's what the judge went with.
"What they give doesn't matter, because whatever penalty eventually Carlos gets is not going to be anything compared to the life sentence he's given us. We have this pain of loss every day the rest of our life. People say it'll get better, but I can't see that right now," Alex's great grandmother, Lois Barrett, tells us.
Wilbraham Police say Ortiz was riding in a car with Adorno, who was a family acquaintance, when it veered off Three Rivers Road, hit a tree, and rolled over.
Ortiz died at the scene.
Adorno had to be airlifted to Baystate Medical Center with serious injuries.
"It was very hard to see him so broken. This is a guy that spent time with Jean's family and we knew him. I don't get any pleasure out of seeing his physical pain. I don't believe any of us do. That's not something we want, but his irresponsible act has done eruptible damage to my family," says Barrett.
Police say Adorno had a blood alcohol level of .15.
Charged with one count of vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol, the judge set his bail at $1,000 cash.
Adorno was able to post it shortly after his arraignment, but his defense attorney said, in court, his multiple physical injuries limit him and he's usually in a wheelchair.
Ortiz's great grandmother tells Western Mass News it doesn't matter what level of punishment Adorno receives.
Nothing will bring back Alex.
"His physical injuries eventually will heal. Whatever penalty they give will be over. This will never be over for us," added Barrett.
Adorno is scheduled to be back in court on November 1.
Wilbraham Police say their investigation is still active and ongoing.