Nuns decry focus on immigration status of driver in fatal Va. crashThey don't say if they're going to be keeping vigil outside the prison where the accused is being held as as well, but I wouldn't put it past them.
By Michelle Boorstein Washington Post August 3, 2010
A spokeswoman for the religious order that was home to three nuns whose car was hit by an alleged drunk driver Sunday morning say they are upset that the incident is being politicized.
Sister Glenna Smith of the Benedictine Sisters, who have a monastery in Bristow, said Tuesday that "we are dismayed" by reports that the accident, which killed one woman and critically injured two others, is focusing attention on the man's status as an illegal immigrant.
"The fact the he had DUIs is really poignant, but he's a child of God and deserves to be treated with dignity. I don't want to make a pro- or anti-immigrant statement but simply a point that he is an individual human person and we will be approaching him with mercy," Smith said. "Denise, of all us, would be the first to offer forgiveness."
Prince William County police say Carlos A. Martinelly Montano, 23, was intoxicated when the 1997 Subaru Outback he was driving in the Bristow area struck a guardrail on Bristow Road near Wright Lane shortly before 8:30 a.m. Sunday. The Outback, traveling north, spun out of control and careered into the southbound lanes, colliding head-on with the nuns' 2003 Toyota Corolla.
Montano, an illegal immigrant from Bolivia, has a record of numerous motor vehicle violations in recent years, including two drunken-driving cases for which he served 20 days in jail, according to authorities and court records.
Smith said the two injured nuns remain in very critical condition Tuesday at Inova Fairfax Hospital, but "we hear they might be stabilizing."
The order, which has 33 nuns based in Bristow, had a silent retreat scheduled for this week and has been trying to keep it on track despite the tragedy. Some sisters are keeping vigil at the hospital as well, Smith said.