State Police say a man from North Jersey has been charged with vehicular homicide in connection to a fatal boating crash in Ocean County earlier this summer.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer says 18-year-old Juan A. Fernandez II of Towaco, Morris County, has been charged with second-degree vehicular homicide, third-degree strict liability vehicular homicide, and third-degree hindering.

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Authorities say in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 13th, state troopers responded to Antiqua Avenue in Toms River for the report of a serious vessel crash in Barnegat Bay. There, they treated four people for non-life-threatening injuries and 19-year-old Corey Molinari of Whippany was airlifted to a local hospital where he later died from his injuries.

According to police,

...detectives determined that Juan Fernandez II was operating a 2014 Bennington Pontoon boat in the Barnegat Bay when he struck Intracoastal Waterway Marker #26 head on. After the crash, he was able to navigate the vessel to Antiqua Avenue where he met Toms River police and first responders. Initially, Fernandez claimed that there were a total of six occupants on the vessel, but through various investigative means, detectives later determined that there were a total of nine occupants on the vessel prior to the crash, three who were let off just prior to the collision. At the time of the crash, two occupants were ejected.

Fernandez was arrested in Boonton, NJ, on Wednesday. He is currently being held in the Ocean County Jail pending a bail detention hearing.

The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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