Methuen man killed in Lawrence car crash

LAWRENCE – A Methuen man was killed early yesterday after the Acura Integra he was driving smashed into a telephone pole.

Arnoldo Vargas, 20, of 67 Ford St., was pronounced dead after the 2:45 a.m. crash at Saratoga and Park streets. Two young women riding in his car were also hurt, but are expected to survive, police said.

Police seized a pickup truck that may have played a role in the deadly accident.

When police arrived at the accident scene, the yellow Integra Vargas was driving was smashed against a telephone pole. Vargas “appeared deceased” and two women, Elsa Soto, 20, of 322 High St., Lawrence, and Karimar Amare, 19, of Lowell, were in the passenger side and back seats, police said.

Officer Nelson Potter said he spoke with witnesses that said “the yellow Acura was traveling at an extremely high rate of speed down Park Street. The Acura either struck or swerved in an attempt to avoid a pickup truck at the intersection of Saratoga and Park streets.”

One witness told Potter she saw a pickup driver get out of his truck, inspect the outside of his truck, then get back in and drive away.

Potter collected numerous pieces of debris at the intersection and placed them into evidence, according to his report.

Later yesterday morning, Detective Thomas Cuddy went to 2 Railroad St. to inspect a blue 1998 Chevrolet pickup registered to Blas Martinez, 56. Cuddy said the pickup had minimal damage to the rear bumper but there was a “transfer of yellow paint on the passenger’s side rear bumper as well as two more small chips of yellow paint on the rear bumper directly in front of the license plate,” Cuddy wrote.

Martinez, after he was read his Miranda rights, told police he’d been working on a food truck on Lawrence Street and arrived home 10 minutes earlier. He said he drove down Saratoga to Myrtle Street to get home “but did not believe that he was involved in an accident.”

Cuddy wrote Martinez appeared sober and “was very cooperative.”

The pickup was towed to Coady’s on Marston Street and stored inside until police can process it for possible evidence.