A Batavia man faces vehicular assault and drunk driving charges after a fiery crash in Clarkson Thursday night.
Efrain Lopez-Contreras, whom police say was in the country illegally, allegedly struck an SUV head on.
Police say a father and daughter were traveling southbound down Redman Road in the SUV when Lopez-Contreras swerved and smashed the car on the passenger side. The collision caused the SUV to go up in flames.
Neighbors rushed outside and got 52 year old Tony Bartolucci out of the vehicle. Bartolucci is a pastor at Clarkson Community Church.
The witnesses didn’t realize that there was another person in the car because of how destroyed the car had already become.
Witness Tracy Brugger says that Tony Bartolucci was burned and going in and out of consciousness, but signaled that his daughter was still in the car.
Bartolucci’s 14 year old daughter, Gianna, was also taken out of the car by witnesses. She was unconscious and severely hurt when she was rescued.
“It was a little hard to come back from,” said Brugger. “You’re enjoying your family and the holidays. You’re laughing and joking and an unfortunate accident happened. We were grateful our family was here to be able to help the family out.”
Brugger’s uncles were among those that helped rescue the Bartolucci’s from the wreck.
The suspect, Lopez-Contreras, is being held in Monroe County Jail. Immigration Officials will place a detainer on him.
As of Saturday morning, Tony and Gianna are both in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital.