Rescued from historic flood, Colo. man may sue "heroes"

Roy Ortiz is seen in the back seat of his upside-down car, along with rescuers, after flooding washed out a road in Lafayette, Colo., on Sept. 12, 2013.
CBS Denver
BROOMFIELD, Colo. - A Colorado man who was saved in a dramatic rescue last September during the state's historic flooding could soon sue his rescuers, CBS Denver reported.

Roy Ortiz, of Bloomfield, says crews didn't realize he was trapped in his upside-down car on the morning of Sept. 12 after heavy rain washed out a road in Lafayette.

"I started yelling again and I started making noise to let them know, those people, that I'm alive," Ortiz said.

According to CBS Denver, Ortiz claims officials ignored pleas from his wife and brother to help. He had jumped into the back seat of his 2003 Poniac in an attempt to keep himself alive. Two hours later, help finally reached him.

Now, six months after he was rescued from the rushing waters, Oritz tells the station he has reluctantly filed a notice of intent to sue his rescuers and other authorities. He says he needs help paying medical bills.

Ortiz said he has suffered a total of $500,000 in damages.

Rock Creek flooding washes out Dillon Road on Sept. 12, 2013. (credit: CBS)

His legal papers claim the washed out road should have been closed, or at least marked during the rains, because that could have prevented the accident from happening. Two others were also rescued at the scene.

Ortiz's attorney, Ed Ferszt, acknowledged going forward with the suit might pose its own hazards.

"It's unfortunate to have to try and cast liability and responsibility for this act of God on the men and women who risked their own lives," said Ferszt.

Despite the threat of a lawsuit, a spokeswoman for the North Metro Fire Department voiced satisfaction with their efforts.

"I'm sure it was a traumatic experience for (Ortiz)," she said. "Ultimately, we were just very grateful we were able to save his life that day."