DUI suspect released hours after allegedly mowing down teen at bus stop, costing him a leg

A California high school student lost his leg after a suspected DUI driver plowed into him while he sat on a bench at a bus stop on a Santa Monica street lined with palm trees.

Gelvy Ortiz, 18, is described as a bright and hardworking student and the youngest of three orphans who came to the U.S. from Guatemala, supporters wrote in a GoFundMe campaign. According to local reports, he wanted to serve in the U.S. military after graduating.

However, around midnight on June 2, witnesses called 911 to report a crash involving a Volkswagen Jetta and a pedestrian, police said.

John Edward Alevizos, 35, has been charged with felony driving under the influence due to Ortiz’s “severe traumatic injuries to both legs,” Santa Monica police said. 

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Gelvy Ortiz lays in a Santa Monica hospital bed with one leg missing

Gelvy Ortiz, 18, lost his leg after Santa Monica police say a suspected DUI driver John Alevizos allegedly plowed into the bus stop where he was sitting. (GoFundMe)

First responders rushed Ortiz to the UCLA Medical Center, where he remained in critical condition for days, police said.

“He lost his left leg completely, and his right leg is still under observation with a big risk that he might lose it as well,” Amy Roblero, who organized the fundraiser, wrote. 

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John Alevizos, a Santa Monica DUI suspect, looks down in his mug shot

John Alevizos was released hours after his arrest on felony DUI charges in a crash that cost an 18-year-old his leg in Santa Monica, California. (Santa Monica Police Department)

Alevizos is accused of hopping a curb at the intersection of 26th Street and Wilshire Boulevard and slamming into Ortiz, who was sitting on a bench waiting for a bus just before midnight on June 2, police said.

He was booked into the Los Angeles County Jail around 2 a.m. on June 3, records show. That same day, he posted bond and was released from custody.

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Ortiz played soccer and had planned to enlist in the U.S. Army after graduating, the Los Angeles-based KTLA-TV reported.

A person sits at a bus stop in Santa Monica on a street lined with palm trees

A Google Maps image shows the Santa Monica bus stop where the crash happened. (Google Maps)

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The GoFundMe campaign had raised nearly $50,000 as of Monday to go toward his medical bills and other expenses, according to Roblero.

Alevizos’ next court date was not immediately clear.

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