A Mercer County grand jury has indicted a West Windsor man for “recklessly causing the death” of a student at The College of New Jersey in an accident that occurred in Ewing in December, said a statement released by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.
David Lamar, 23, was indicted on one count of first-degree aggravated manslaughter and one count of second-degree death by auto in connection with the death of 20-year-old Michael Sot. Lamar was also indicted on six counts of second-degree assault by auto for injuries sustained by others in the car that he hit.
The indictment states that Lamar caused Sot’s death by disregarding the speed limit and/or driving while intoxicated and/or crossing over the double lines, says the statement. The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Ewing Township Police Department and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Serious Collision Response Team. Assistant Prosecutor Stacey Geurds, chief of the Mercer County Homicide Task Force, presented the case to the grand jury.
The accident occurred on Dec. 4. Police reports state that Lamar was traveling southbound on Route 31 in a 2018 Kia Optima with one passenger, when his vehicle crossed over the double yellow lines and struck a 2007 Dodge Charger travelling in the opposite direction. A total of six people were in the Dodge.
Lamar had been drinking earlier in the evening at Landmark Americana Tap and Grill in Campus Town on the campus of TCNJ, authorities said.
Sot, a resident of Clark, died on Dec. 4 as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. Five other occupants of the Dodge, and Lamar’s passenger were injured.
The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office charged Lamar with vehicular manslaughter shortly after Sot died. He had had earlier been charged with six counts of second degree assault by auto, after investigation revealed that he was impaired while driving during a motor vehicle crash that caused serious bodily injuries.
Lamar was released after he was charged to home detention with his grandmother in West Windsor with electronic and alcohol monitoring.
Sot was the designated driver, and four other passengers in the Dodge were students at TCNJ—Danielle DeFlores, 21, of Brick; Matthew DeGenova, 21, of Wall Township; Anthony Galante, 19, of North Bellmore, New York; and Ryan Moore, 21, of Midland Park.
Sot’s family has filed a civil lawsuit against Lamar and Landmark. The action alleges that Landmark over-served alcoholic beverages to a visibly intoxicated patron, and that Sot’s death “was brought about by the negligent, careless and reckless conduct” of Landmark and its bartenders.
According to police, Lamar told them that he had two beers, two “twisted teas” and a shot. Authorities said that a surveillance video shows him drinking a “fishbowl” cocktail.
Landmark also agreed to restrictions imposed by the state effective Jan. 15 against serving mixed-drink “fishbowls,” pitchers and buckets of beer. It also agreed to close at midnight and sell only one alcoholic beverage per patron at a time.