Judge orders cash bail for driver accused in death of pedestrian

 A Dane County judge set a $10,000 cash bail for the man accused of speeding down Midvale Boulevard Friday night and killing a man who was out walking with his wife.

Cortes is accused of driving in excess of 100 m.p.h. when he lost control of his car and ran into Greg and Patty Nametz who were out walking their dog. Greg Nametz died at the scene, and Patty Nametz remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Prosecutors argued for a $50,000 cash bond, say that Cortes admission that he was a daily marijuana user and that officers found he had nearly $5,000 in cash with him made Cortes a flight risk.

Prosecutors say that data from Cortes' car indicated he was traveling at 102 m.p.h. at the time of the crash.

Cortes attorney, however, said that Cortes has strong family ties in Madison and had been working two jobs in excess of 70 hours per week. 


UPDATE (WKOW) -- Authorities have arrested a man who they say was intoxicated when he hit and killed a man who was out walking his dog.According to Madison police, Benjamin E. Cortes, 19, faces tentative charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, OWI causing injury and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. Police say the 68-year-old woman who lost her husband in the incident is still in critical but stable condition. The dog was not hurt. Police are still investigating the crash. ********UPDATE (WKOW) -- Madison Police Chief Mike Koval has given more details on the victims in this crash, which happened a little after 8:00 p.m. Friday night.  It was a 72-year-old man who died at the scene and a 68-year-old woman who was also hit. She's now in very critical condition, "clinging to life,"  at a local hospital.  

The police department's initial investigation shows a car was northbound on Midvale Boulevard and had begun to slow down when the car behind it, which was speeding, swerved to avoid hitting the first car. The second car reportedly jumped the curve and hit the couple who were on the sidewalk with their dog.   

Chief Koval says the people in the second car, a 20-year-old male driver and his passenger, a 20-year-old woman, were both taken to the hospital, too. He did not comment on their conditions but said the driver will be questioned. 

The chief says it's too early to tell whether drugs or alcohol were involved.  

He says there is good lighting and sidewalks along that street, but also says that, "Constituents who live on this street will tell you cars are flying through here all the time."  The chief added, "It's already geared for about 35 miles per hour and people have excessively met and exceed those speed limits routinely. So it's been an area of enforcement, especially since we're not too far from schools."

Koval adds that the couple's dog ran off, but was found and wasn't hurt in the incident. 

The Wisconsin State Patrol is helping Madison Police investigate the scene. The chief adds that they likely won't complete their work until early Saturday morning and that the area might not be cleared to traffic until around 6:00 a.m.  


WKOW (MADISON) -- Madison emergency responders are at the scene of a traffic accident near Midvale Boulevard and Waite Lane that has left one person dead and another in critical condition.

Police Chief Mike Koval says a couple was walking their dog Friday night about 8:00 p.m. when a car reportedly jumped the curb and hit them.

We'll have details on this breaking story in our 10:00 p.m. news. 


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