Somerset man charged in Old Bridge crash in which Freehold man died
OLD BRIDGE – A 19-year-old Franklin Township man has been charged in connection with Wednesday’s Route 9 crash in which a Freehold man died and three members of his family were injured as a result of a stolen vehicle pursuit by police.
Samuel Villar of the Somerset section has been arrested and charged with one count of aggravated manslaughter, a first degree crime, in connection with the death of Arturo Tlapa Luna, 33, Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Old Bridge acting Police Chief Donald F. Fritz Jr. announced.
How we got here:police pursuit: Attorney General” class=”link “>One dead, three injured in Old Bridge crash following police pursuit: Attorney General
Villar also was charged with four counts of aggravated assault, one count of eluding, one count of employing a juvenile, all second degree crimes and one count of theft, a third degree crime, according to the prosecutor’s office.
He was held at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick pending a pretrial detention hearing in Superior Court.
In addition, a 17-year-old male was taken into custody and charged with juvenile delinquency for offenses which if committed by an adult would constitute as one count of burglary, a third-degree crime, one count of joyriding, a fourth-degree crime and one count of conspiracy to commit burglary, a third-degree crime, the prosecutor’s office said.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe.com page has been set up to help pay for Luna’s funeral costs and his family’s medical expenses.
Around 2:14 a.m. Wednesday, Old Bridge Police Department responded to a crash near the intersection of Spring Valley Road and Route 9 South.
As a result of the crash, Luna was pronounced dead at the scene and other members of his family who were in the vehicle were transported to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries.
An investigation by the Old Bridge and Marlboro police departments and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office indicates the vehicle that caused the crash had been stolen from New Brunswick on Oct. 23 and was used to travel to Marlboro, where the suspect allegedly attempted to burglarize cars.
Residents who spotted the suspect notified police, who responded to the scene. A Marlboro police officer initiated a pursuit with the suspects which ended in Old Bridge.
Luna, a husband and father, dreamed of opening his own restaurant, according to a GoFundMe.com page called In Loving Memory of Arturo Tlapa which is looking to raise $5,000 for his funeral and his family’s medical costs. His wife Maria, daughter and father were also injured in the crash.
As of Thursday night about $2,385 has been raised by 31 donors.
“On Wednesday morning, my sister and her husband along with his father and my 2 nieces, were struck by another vehicle on the highway in New Jersey,” Blanca Jimenez who created the GoFundMe page said in the post. “They were 30 minutes from home when they were struck and unfortunately my brother-in-law passed away on scene. Now, my sister is left to care for their two daughters alone without her husband after having him by her side for almost 15 years. They were the victims of insensitive, careless and disgusting people committing crimes fleeing from the police.”
Jimenez said her sister has no other form of income and is struggling to plan for her husband’s funeral while also caring for her injured daughter and healing from her own injuries.
Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Jonathan Berman at 732-745-4328.
Email: [email protected]
Suzanne Russell is a breaking news reporter for MyCentralJersey.com covering crime, courts and other mayhem. To get unlimited access, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
This article originally appeared on MyCentralJersey.com: NJ police pursuit crash: Somerset man charged in Freehold man’s death
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