Driver charged in deadly crash at NJ bar

Antonio Vargas was the alleged driver of a car that hit a bar in Somers Point, New Jersey.

January 11, 2011 4:37:22 PM PST
The driver of a car that crashed into a New Jersey bar, leaving one person dead, has been criminally charged.

Antonio Vargas, 21, of Somers Point, has been charged with being involved in a fatal accident while driving with a suspended license.

Vargas remains hospitalized in critical condition following the January 6th crash.

The man killed, Kevin Botta, 33, of Somers Point, was a passenger in the car.

Joseph Higbee, 26, of Northfield, was a bystander who was hit by a fire hydrant that was dislodged and sent flying. He remains hospitalized in stable condition.

Vargas is accused of speeding on Shore Road then crashing his vehicle into a telephone pole, then hitting the fire hydrant, before the vehicle came to rest in the entranceway of Gregory's in Somers Point.

Additional charges against Vargas may be forthcoming pending further investigation and test results, said the Atlantic County prosecutor's office.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office Fatal Collision Unit at 609-909-7666 or the Somers Point Police Department at 609-927-6161.