TCNJ student dies after crash, other driver charged with homicide
EWING — Michael Sot agreed to be that friend. The one who'd be the designated driver for the night, allowing everyone else to have a good time and then make sure they all got home safely.
But early Sunday morning, while the The College of New Jersey student was driving his friends near the campus, his vehicle was hit head-on by a drunk driver going the wrong way, police said.
The young man who had agreed to help his friends was left fighting for his own life. On Tuesday morning, he succumbed to his injuries. He was 20 years old.
The driver of the other vehicle, David Lamar V, 22, of West Windsor, has been charged with vehicle homicide in addition to second-degree counts of assault by auto for each of the victims.
Sot, of Clark, was driving a Dodge Charger about 2 a.m. on Route 31 when he was hit by Lamar's 2018 Kia Optima, police said.
A total of eight people were involved in the crash, including five TCNJ students who were in Sot's car. New Jersey 101.5 did not know Tuesday afternoon the conditions of the other people in the crash.
Sot suffered "significant injuries" in the crash, according to a GoFundMe page for him, including head trauma, a punctured lung, and fractured and broken bones. He died on Tuesday, according to a statement from TCNJ.
“This news is heartbreaking," TCNJ President Kathryn A. Foster said in a prepared statement. "Michael was an outstanding student, and a trusted and caring friend with a bright future ahead of him. The TCNJ community is keeping his family, friends, and loved ones in its thoughts during this tremendously difficult time."
Sot was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, which said it was "heartbroken" to learn of Sot's death.
Sot was a graduate of Arthur L. Johnson Regional High School in Clark and had three siblings, according to the GoFundMe page.
"As an entire school community, our thoughts and prayers go out to Michael and his family. He will forever be in our hearts as an outstanding ALJ Crusader student-athlete and for his strength of character," Clark school superintendent Edward Grande said in an email.
A candlelight vigil is planned at the Clark municipal building 7 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Patch of Clark.
Ewing police said Lamar was driving southbound on Route 31 and drifted into the northbound lanes into the path of Sot's car. One other person was inside Lamar's Optima.
Lamar was charged with vehicular homicide by the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office on Tuesday. In addition to assault by auto, he was also charged with the following:
• Driving while intoxicated
• Operating without insurance
• Failure to produce license, registration or insurance card
• Failure to possess license, registration or insurance card
• Careless driving
• Unsafe lane change
• Improper passing in a no passing zone