The man who was allegedly intoxicated behind the wheel when he reportedly plowed his car into a South Jersey bar now faces aggravated manslaughter charges.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel announced Tuesday that more charges have been filed against Antonio Vargas, the driver allegedly involved in a deadly crash in Somers Point on Jan. 6.
Vargas, 22, was already charged with being involved in a fatal accident while driving with a suspended license, a third-degree offense. On Tuesday Housel added aggravated manslaughter and assault charges.
The manslaughter charge carries a prison sentence up to 30 years and up to $200,000 in fines, according to prosecutors.
Vargas, a Somers Point resident, was allegedly traveling at a high speed on Shore Road in Somers Point when he crashed his car into a telephone pole and sent a fire hydrant flying before the vehicle finally stopped at the door of Gregory's Restaurant & Bar.
The crash killed Vargas’ passenger, 33-year-old Kevin Botta of Somers Point, while the flying fire hydrant seriously injured a bystander, 26-year-old Joseph Higbee of Northfield, who was at the bar to celebrate his birthday.
Higbee and Vargas were both hospitalized after the wreck but have since been released.
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Vargas' bail was set at $350,000 cash or bond. His attorney asked for a bail reduction during his first court appearance in court Wednesday.
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