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N.J. man, 28, dies after he’s trapped in car that flipped into marsh, authorities say

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An Ocean County man died early Saturday, and his two passengers swam to safety after the car he was driving crashed and flipped over into a marsh in Toms River, authorities said.

Police and emergency medical workers were called about 2:25 a.m. to the intersection of Hooper Avenue and South Shore Drive on a report of an accident with entrapment, according to Toms River Police Chief Mitchell A. Little.

“The vehicle was located in the marsh, flipped over with the occupants trapped inside,” Little said in a statement.

“The two passengers were uninjured and manage to free themselves, but the driver (remained) trapped and submerged in the water,” Little said.

Several police officers, along with EMS and firefighters, waded into the marsh and freed the driver, later identified as Paolo Helfers-Lariva, 28 of Toms River.

Helfers-Lariva was taken to Community Medical Center in Toms River, where he died of his injuries, the police chief said.

Little said investigators determined the vehicle was speeding south on Hooper Avenue when it went out of control, left the road, struck a pole, and overturned into the marsh.

Toms River traffic safety officers continue to investigate the crash, Little said.

Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find on Facebook.