Woman slowly recovering after tragic Alligator Alley crash

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COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Friends and family are doing what they can to help a woman seriously injured when a suspected drunk driver slammed into her and her husband on the side of Alligator Alley.

Troopers say Samantha Robson slammed into a disabled van critically injuring 52-year-old Marcela Ortega and killing her husband, 50-year-old Leo Benitez. The crash happened Sunday just after midnight near mile marker 98.

Ortega is slowly recovering at Lee Memorial Hospital.

“She is, she’s trying to talk,” said Alina Borges, who is close to the family. “She broke her limbs and she has a lot of scaring on her face.”

“Thank God she’s doing better, she’s stable. Everyone is saying she’s been really strong,” said Gabriela Rosas, who is also close to Ortega’s family.

Ortega and her husband were pulled over on the side of the highway because of car trouble. Borges said they were on their way back from Miami.

Troopers say that’s when Robson, who was driving drunk at the time, hit them with her car, killing Benitez.

Borges says Ortega has no idea he is dead.

“It’s going to be really hard. Her mom and her step-dad were a really loving couple, they were really close.”

Borges, Rosas and Hannah Richardt are best friends with Ortega’s youngest daughter. They say she is in shock over what happened.

“She still feels a lot of pain right now, but we’re trying to help her get through it and give her as much support as we can,” said Richardt.

The girls have set up a website to help raise money for Ortega’s medical expenses. It’s called the Ocampo Project.

If you’d like to donate to the cause, click here.

As for Robson, she remains in jail facing several charges including DUI manslaughter. WINK News learned earlier this week that this is her second DUI in less than two years. If convicted she could be sentenced to at least 20 years in prison.

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