Camden County Man Sentenced To Prison For Fatal Crash After Bar Fight
FREEHOLD – 24-year-old Edwin Martinez of Camden has been sentenced to more than 8 years in prison for driving drunk after getting into a fight at a Belmar bar and killing a passenger riding in his vehicle that night.
Martinez was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment from which he will have to serve more than 8 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. According to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni, the terms of his sentence were imposed by Superior Court Judge Joseph Oxley on Friday.
At the time of the crash, Martinez’ blood-alcohol level was recorded more than twice the legal limit. The incident took place on 20 April 2014 when Martinez sped off from Connolly Station in Belmar after the restaurant closed at 2 a.m. 26-year-old Tiffany Soto of Howell was riding with him in the vehicle.
At the bar, Martinez got into a dispute with bar patrons and smashed the windshield of a car according to investigators.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor explained that Soto went to the restaurant to pick up Martinez. However, instead of letting Soto drive, Martinez got behind the wheel and sped off. After leaving the bar, he went down Eighth Avenue toward Route 35, ran a red light before he hit a car with two people inside.
Martinez’ vehicle hit a curb, overturned and struck a pole. The Honda became airborne before landing in the parking lot of the Belmar Marina. The vehicle hit a pickup truck before it finally came to a stop at a fence near the water.
As a result of the crash, Soto was thrown from the car. She landed in the Shark River and was rushed to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune where she later died.
Martinez’ blood sample was taken for testing which revealed his blood alcohol concentration level at 0.27%, more than two-and-a-half times the legal limit of alcohol allowed in New Jersey.
Martinez faced several charges and in March, he pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, assault by auto and a motor vehicle summons which charged him with driving while intoxicated.
Martinez also lost his driver’s license for 5 years as part of his sentence.