Belmar fatal crash survivor sentenced for vehicular homicide
The driver who survived a horrific crash in Belmar that killed Tiffany Soto of Howell two years ago heads to prison for eight-and-a-half to 10 years.
The 10- term handed to Edwin Martinez, 24, of Camden, for vehicular homicide, is subject to New Jersey's No Early Release Act, requiring that 85 percent of the term be served before parole eligibility.
He also serves three concurrent years for assault by auto, and loses his driving priveleges for five years, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni's office.
On April 20, 2014, Soto drove a Honda Civic to a bar on Eighth Avenue in Belmar to give her boyfriend Martinez a ride.
Investigators later determined that he entered through the driver's side door and took the wheel.
Martinez sped through a red signal at Eighth Avenue and Route 35, and lost control of the car, ripping through several signs, knocking over a traffic signal and overturning.
The force of the crash, at about 2 AM, was enough to fling the victim into the Shark River. Authorities at the time observed that she wore no seat restraint.
She died during hospitalization at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where Martinez was also treated for injuries.
Lab analysis revealed his blood alcohol content to be .207 percent, more than two-and-a-half times the legal limit in New Jersey.
Martinez pleaded guilty in March to a first-degree charge of vehicular homicide in a school zone, a third-degree count of assault by auto, and a summons for driving while intoxicated.
In reaching the plea agreement, prosecutors dropped several remaining charges in Martinez's indictment.