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Driver Sentenced To 29 Years For Deadly Crash Into Somers Point Bar

(File photo.  Credit: Thinkstock)

(File photo. Credit: Thinkstock)

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MAYS LANDING, N.J. (AP) — A motorist who crashed into a southern New Jersey tavern, killing a passenger and seriously injuring a pedestrian, has been sentenced to 29 years in prison.

Antonio Vargas must serve more than 22 years of the sentence imposed Wednesday before he becomes eligible for parole. The 24-year-old Somers Point man was convicted in June on numerous counts, including aggravated manslaughter and vehicular homicide.

Prosecutors have said Vargas’ license was suspended and he was speeding and driving drunk when the January 2011 crash occurred 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 also was injured in the accident.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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