June 18, 2019 | 72° F

Two killed after car plunges into Raritan River

Two men were killed in a car accident on Route 18 North in which the vehicle went through a wooded area and then plunged into the Raritan River early Monday morning.  

Robert J. Veras-Toribio, 22 of North Brunswick, was driving a 2009 Honda Accord when he lost control of the vehicle near the George Street exit around 12:56 a.m., police said. The car ran off the road, struck a guardrail and landed partially submerged in the river. 

Police said Veras-Toribio was  found unresponsive and unconscious at the scene. Officers and friends who arrived at the site of the crash began to administer CPR, and medic units that arrived shortly after pronounced him dead. 

The passenger, 21-year-old Kelvin Lantigua of New Brunswick, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

A dive team arrived shortly before 2 a.m., and the sounds of a chainsaw used by rescuers could be heard, NJ Advance Media reported. An hour later, a tow truck pulled the vehicle off Route 18 North near the George Street exit.

The New Brunswick Fire Department helped gain access to the vehicle and clear the wooded area, police said.

Route 18 was closed for four hours early Monday morning and then re-opened.The cause of the crash is currently under investigation with the New Brunswick Police Department. 

Friends and family opened GoFundMe pages to raise money to cover the funeral costs for both men. As of Monday evening, nearly $1,600 had been donated between the two pages.

"My condolences to your families. Take care of each other up there guys. Rest easy Robert and Kelvin," one friend, Kathy Canas, wrote on the page. 

Avalon Zoppo

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