- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

CLARKSON, N.Y. (AP) - A man charged in a Christmas Eve crash that killed a 14-year-old girl in western New York has pleaded not guilty.

Thirty-year-old Efrain Lopez-Contreras entered the plea on Tuesday to charges including aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter and various driving while intoxicated offenses.

Clarkson Community Church pastor Tony Bartolucci and his daughter, Gianna, were seriously injured last December’s crash in rural Clarkson, 15 miles west of Rochester. The teenager died in June following complications from surgery.

Authorities say Lopez-Contreras’ vehicle veered into the opposite lane and collided head-on with a sport utility vehicle the Bartoluccis were traveling in. Investigators say witnesses kept Lopez-Contreras from leaving the scene and police found him hiding in a ditch.

Officials say he’s in the country illegally.


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