Undocumented Immigrant Sentenced for Fatally Injuring Girl in 2015 Christmas Eve Crash

Undocumented Immigrant Sentenced for Fatally Injuring Girl in 2015 Christmas Eve Crash

Overview

By Wendy Mills

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The man who pleaded guilty in connection to a deadly Christmas Eve crash in 2015 was sentenced to six to 18 years in prison Tuesday.

Efrain Lopez-Contreras previously pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter assault and aggravated DWI.

He had a blood alcohol nearly three times the legal limit when he crossed the center line and hit a car head on in Clarkson.

Giana Bartolucci, 14, was in the other car and she and her father, Pastor Tony Bartolucci were both injured int he crash. Giana died after complications during a surgery six months after the incident.

“I cry every single day. I cried every day for over a year sometimes, sometimes racked with sobs,” Tony said.

Tony was with more than a dozen friends and church members sat by his side in court Tuesday during the sentencing. Tony suffered serious injuries in that crash. He has vision loss and PTSD.

“She never made it back and I am having a hard time with that very much,” he said. “We take things so much for granted and that is why I tell people, you never know. You never know when you are going to breath your last breath.”

Tony wore Giana’s picture near his heart in her honor in court. There he spoke about what a wonderful girl she was; a tremendous daughter, smart and sensitive to others. He also did what many could never do.

He told Lopez-Contreras that he and his wife forgive him. He even wanted to hug him, buy the judge declined.

“If it wasn’t for my hope in Christ and my understanding of the Christian world view and good theology I would be very vindictive, but that is not who I am anymore,” he said.

Lopez-Contreras stood in court with his head down and appeared to weep. He would go on to tell the Bartolucci family, in Spanish and through an interpreter, that he is sorry and has regret and guilt. Lopez-Contreras faces deportation to Mexico after his term is up.

Tony says Giana’s name means “God is gracious”. He said her book was not left unfinished. It was complete.

Fourteen chapters, 14 years and God called her home.