Four witnesses of the June 2012 traffic collision that killed William Ware as he waited for a bus in Mountain View testified today (Sept. 6) that Matthew Pumar ran a red light before striking Ware.
Pumar, 22, is facing felony vehicular manslaughter charges, and has pleaded not guilty.
According to a Mountain View Police Department investigation, at around 9:30 a.m. on June 21, 2012, Pumar sped through a red light at the intersection of California Street and Escuela Avenue, swerved to avoid a truck entering the intersection, lost control of his car, and struck Ware, a well-known Mountain View man.
Pumar was eventually arrested, then released on bail. He was charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence -- a felony.
Judge Allison Danner is presiding over the trial, which began a 9 a.m. in Department 89 on the fourth floor of the Palo Alto Courthouse.
Pumar's lawyer, Dennis Smith, worked today to raise doubts as to whether Pumar actually was speeding, and whether he ran a red light. The driver, he said, simply tried to squeeze through a yellow light when everything went terribly wrong.
Smith also suggested that another vehicle may have contributed to the accident.
That's not the way the prosecution sees it. Deputy District Attorney Sean Webby questioned five witnesses today -- including the victim's niece and four individuals who were at the accident scene. He argued that Pumar accelerated excessively in an attempt to beat the red light, ultimately running it.
Those actions, Webby said, led the driver to lose control of his car and strike Ware, who was standing at a bus stop in the 1800 block of California Street.
Witnesses described a grisly scene. One man said that as he knelt next to a shaken up, but mostly uninjured Pumar -- attempting to calm the driver -- he put his knee in a pool of blood from the victim. The same man said he saw severed limbs, as did other witnesses.
All of the witnesses testifying today gave similar testimony, and all said that they believed Pumar ran the red light.
"I think all the witnesses told the same story," Jim Ware, the victim's brother, said.
The trial will resume on Sept. 9 at 9 a.m. in Department 89 of the Palo Alto Courthouse.