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UPDATE: NJ Man Sentenced to Prison for Fatal Old Bridge Crash in 2022

Middlesex County

By: Najla Alexander

Authorities in Middlesex County announced that Samuel Villar, 21, of Somerset, was sentenced in connection with a fatal crash that occurred on November 9, 2022.AdMiddlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone said on Wednesday, November 9, at approximately 2:14 a.m., the Old Bridge Police Department responded to a crash that occurred during a pursuit by Marlboro Police near the intersection of Spring Valley Road and Route 9 South.

As a result of the crash, officials said,  Arturo Tlapa Luna, 33, of Freehold, was pronounced deceased on the scene, and members of his family sustained serious injuries.

After a collaborative investigation was conducted by the Old Bridge Police Department, the Marlboro Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, the Attorney General's Office, and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, it was determined that the pursuit that resulted in the fatal crash was related to a vehicle burglary investigation in Marlboro involving a stolen vehicle, officials say.Ad According to officials, the investigation revealed that Villar, while fleeing police in a stolen vehicle, ran a red light at the intersection and struck multiple vehicles.

Officials said Villar pled guilty on June 14, 2023, and was subsequently sentenced on December 4, 2023, by Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Buck, J.S.C., to 12 years in New Jersey State Prison subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA) for the crime of first-degree Aggravated Manslaughter concurrent to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison pursuant to NERA for the crimes of four counts of second-degree Aggravated Assault, and ten years in New Jersey State Prison for second-degree Eluding.

Authorities say Villar must serve 85% of his 12-year sentence before being eligible for parole.

Officials stated Villar will be on parole supervision for five years upon his release from prison, and his driver's license will also be suspended for two years.