Pumar returning to court | March 15, 2013 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - March 15, 2013

Pumar returning to court

Jury selection to start in trial of driver accused of killing William Ware

by Nick Veronin

The jury selection is scheduled to begin next week in the trial of Matthew Pumar, who is on trial for the death of well-known local man William Ware.

Pumar is facing a felony charge of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence in the death of Ware, who was struck and killed by the car Pumar was driving on June 21, 2012.

Judge Shelyna Brown will preside over the trial, which is set to start at 9 a.m. on March 18 in Department 89 of the Palo Alto Courthouse.

The 22-year-old Pumar was on his way to work on the day of the accident, when, according to police reports, he allegedly sped through the intersection of California Street and Escuela Avenue, swerved to avoid a utility truck and lost control of his car, which ended up traveling up onto the sidewalk, plowing through a bus stop shelter and striking Ware, who was killed by the violent impact of the collision.

Pumar, who was not seriously injured in the crash, stayed on the scene after the accident and cooperated with police. He was not taken into custody that day, but was arrested July 10 after a police investigation. He posted $100,000 bail the same day.

The jury trial will focus on the question of whether Pumar was driving recklessly in the run-up to the accident, as the prosecution alleges.

During a preliminary hearing, Duffy Magilligan, the prosecuting deputy district attorney, argued that Pumar was likely traveling close to double the posted speed limit of 35 mph and that he ran a red light before losing control of his car and colliding with Ware.

Pumar's lawyer, Dennis Smith, argued during the same hearing that his client was not driving nearly that fast, and that he had run a yellow light, not a red light. Smith also made much of the utility truck his client swerved to avoid — alleging that the driver of that truck had run a red light and partially obstructed Pumar's lane on California Street.

Ware was known around town as a friendly man who would regularly strike up conversations with passersby. He was well-known by Mountain View law enforcement, fire department officials, city council members, librarians and organizers of the Art & Wine Festival, according to his niece, Dolores Marquez.


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 14, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Where did Pumar work? What is his job? Does he still work there?

Like this comment
Posted by resident 2
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 15, 2013 at 6:28 am

Where did Ware work? What was his job?

And just how well-known was Mr. Ware? This paper seems to imply that he was more well-known than others who have been mowed down on the city's streets. I'm finding this not to be the case. In this sense the paper seems to be intent on making this tragic event and victim somehow different than all others.

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 15, 2013 at 9:40 am

Killing an innocent pedestrian on a sidewalk is an extremely tragic event, no matter who the victim was.

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 1, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Anyone know what happened in this case? I tried searching, but all I found was reports about the start of the trial. Nothing about convictions or sentences. Did he plead out or something?

Was just thinking about William the other day. RIP.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.


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