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Driver Indicted in Fatal Somers Point Crash

Peter Dazeley, Getty Images

A motorist who crashed into a southern New Jersey tavern last year, killing a passenger and seriously injuring a pedestrian, has been indicted on numerous charges including aggravated manslaughter.

Twenty-two-year-old Antonio Vargas of Somers Point also faces charges of vehicular homicide, aggravated assault and three counts of assault by auto in the indictment handed up Wednesday by an Atlantic County grand jury.

Prosecutors say Vargas’ license was suspended and he was speeding and driving drunk when the crash occurred Jan. 6 in Somers Point.

His 33-year-old passenger, Kevin Botta of Somers Point, was killed. A pedestrian, 26-year-old Joseph Higbee of Northfield, was seriously injured when he was struck by a fire hydrant that was dislodged during the crash.

Vargas, who also was injured, remains jailed on $350,000 bail.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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