Exclusive: Sister of mother of 3 killed in alleged DWI crash calls for justice

Kristin Thorne Image
Saturday, October 31, 2020
EMBED <>More Videos

The sister of Erika Bautista, the woman killed by an alleged drunk driver on Long Island last month, spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News about her family's painful struggle.

FARMINGVILLE, Long Island (WABC) -- The sister of the woman killed by an alleged drunk driver on Long Island last month spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News about her family's painful ordeal.

"It didn't need to happen," said Erika Bautista's younger sister, Janeth Hernandez. "It's something that could have been avoided, and we just want justice."

Hernandez said on September 25, the 30-year-old Bautista was on her way to Hernandez's house to pick up centerpieces for Hernandez's wedding the next day when her car was struck.

Police said Christopher Montpetit, of Shirley, was driving drunk when he slammed into Bautista's car, which had become disabled on the side of County Route 83 in Farmingville.

Bautista, of Coram, spent two weeks on life support at the hospital. She died on October 11.

"We had faith," Hernandez said. "We thought she was going to make it."

Also Read: 6-year-old girl home from hospital after New York school bus crash

Bautista's three young daughters were also in the car.

"Her daughters were her life," Hernandez said. "She was always with them. Everywhere she went, she always had her daughters with her."

Ten-year-old Ruby and 8-year-old Lizbeth suffered minor injuries, while 4-year-old Melissa is still hospitalized with injuries to her brain.

"She isn't aware of what's going on," Hernandez said. "She'll open her eye and she'll have like hand movements, but she's not like functioning the proper way."

Prosecutors charged Montpetit, a realtor, with misdemeanor DWI, but they are expected to upgrade the charges against him next month.

Montpetit's attorney said the incident was an accident, and that Montpetit's prayers go out to Bautista's family.

"I don't think it was an accident," Hernandez said. "It's something that could have been avoided."

Also Read: Police break up party with nearly 300 people on Long Island

Hernandez said her family believes Bautista is in heaven because she was an avid churchgoer.

"She was always helping at the church too," she said. "She loved to praise God."

Hernandez said Bautista always listened to religious music while driving.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Bautista family pay medical bills for Melissa Bautista.


* More Long Island news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a News Tip