It was lunchtime on a hot Friday in October, and the Ortiz family cottage on Morton Avenue in West Palm Beach seemed to be bursting with restless kids. The house, a cramped, two-bedroom rental unit, maybe two dozen paces from end to end, resounded with the din of five hungry pre-schoolers. Two of them were Sonia Ortiz's children, and three were her sister Maritza's. Ortiz's oldest had just started first grade or he would have been there too, watching videos in the living room with the rest or wrestling in a bedroom covered in mattresses where the kids sleep and play. Ortiz's fourth child was due in seven months. She was making chicken and fries, but there was no soda in the house. She put down her kitchen utensils, rinsed her hands, and headed for La... More >>>
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Clockwise from top: Antiques dealers Jerry Earnhart and Doug Spain were among the first to try to comfort Sonia Ortiz after the accident. Sonia and her sister's children play in the mattress-covered room that serves as sleeping quarters and wrestling mat in the family's tiny home. The deadly intersection is now adorned with flowers and flags as a memorial to Officer Morash. Antiques dealers who had lobbied for a stoplight at the intersection hired attorney Kristine Rosenthal.