ROCHESTER, NY – A man is accused of driving drunk in a vehicle crash that seriously injured a pastor and his daughter.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says 29-year-old Efrain G Lopez-Contreras is charged with driving while intoxicated and vehicular assault.
Investigators tell News10NBC Lopez-Contreras crossed the center line and struck a SUV head-on Thursday night. The SUV caught fire in the crash and the victims were pulled out by good Samaritans. We’re told Lopez-Contreras attempted to leave the scene of the crash.
Deputies say Lopez-Contreras is an illegal alien who was previously deported. We’re told U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials will be placing a detainer on him. He is being held in Monroe County Jail at this time.
Investigators say the victims in the crash are Tony A. Bartolucci and his daughter Gianna. Family members tell News10NBC Bartolucci is a pastor at Clarkson Community Church.
According to deputies, both Bartolucci and his daughter were unconscious as they were pulled from the vehicle. They were transported to Strong Memorial Hospital with serious injuries. Hospital officials say both are in guarded condition Friday evening.
In an emailed statement, Cpl. John Helfer of the sheriff’s department said, “Our prayers are with the Bartolucci family during this time.”
Friday, we heard from the pastor’s family, who is still in shock.
Father Al Bartolucci says, “You read in the paper all the time about this but until it hits you. All we did was cry last night.”
Their family is thankful to everyone who saved the Bartoluccis. Last night, when neighbors heard a loud crash and saw the SUV on fire, they immediately ran out to help.