Mountain View driver arrested in deadly pedestrian crash

'Reckless driving' caused collision that killed William Ware, police say

On Tuesday, police arrested a man and charged him with manslaughter in a grisly June 21 collision that killed a well-known Mountain View resident.

Shortly before 9:30 a.m. that day, police say 21-year-old Mountain View resident Matthew Pumar sped through a red light, swerved to avoid a truck entering the intersection and lost control of his car. The vehicle jumped a curb, plowed through a pole, two trees and smashed into William Ware, killing the 50-year-old man before coming to rest near the intersection of California Street and Escuela Avenue, according to Liz Wylie, public information officer for the Mountain View Police Department.

Pumar turned himself in to officers at the Mountain View Police Department on July 10, Wylie said. Pumar was accompanied by his attorney and a bail bondsman. After he was arrested for one count of "vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence," Pumar immediately posted $100,000 bail and was released.

News of the arrest came as a relief to members of Ware's family who had expressed vexation that Pumar had not been arrested the day of the crash.

"I can't thank the Mountain View police and the community enough for all the help," said Dolores Marquez, Ware's niece. "It was really hard to be patient."

During that time police collected the evidence they needed to make the July 10 arrest, Wylie said. That included gathering witness statements and evaluating the distance the car traveled and objects it knocked over, as well as the damage it did to the late Ware's body.

"Although the investigation has not yet been completed, enough evidence existed to show that Pumar ran the red light at that intersection and was speeding," Wylie wrote in an MVPD press release. "Ware was standing on the sidewalk. The primary cause of the collision was reckless driving. Drugs and alcohol were not a factor."

If convicted, Pumar could be sentenced to up to six years in a state prison, according to Cindy Hendrickson, supervising deputy district attorney for Santa Clara County.

Court proceedings will begin in about two weeks, Hendrickson said, estimating that Pumar will likely be arraigned sometime around July 24 at the Palo Alto Courthouse. A prosecutor has yet to be assigned to the case.


Like this comment
Posted by who is he?
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 11, 2012 at 9:54 am

Anyone know Matthew Pumar? Is he working or still in school? Why was he speeding down a residential street at 9:30am on a weekday?

Like this comment
Posted by Jared Bernstein
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 11, 2012 at 11:19 am

It'd be nice to know why/how Mr. Ware is "well known". I wanted to know more.

Like this comment
Posted by kirsten
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 11, 2012 at 11:26 am

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Why wasn't he charged with leaving the scene of an accident?! Or am I not clear on that -but if he turned himself in in July, was he on the run in meantime or was this a very late arrest (for the main charge)? I would think if he WERE on the scene he would be charged (with killing th other guy, reckless driving, running a red light, speeding and so on) owing to a pretty clear sequence of events - sped thru red light etc etc

Like this comment
Posted by who is he?
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm

The perp did not hit-and-run. I recall that he did suffer minor injuries and was treated at the scene. The cops may not have arrested him immediately because he had a good lawyer and they wanted to build a strong case before charging him. Just lucky that he did not try to flea the country in that time.

Like this comment
Posted by Grace
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Hi Jared,
In answer to your question, Bill Ware had special needs (but he could walk), rode the buses, talked to everybody, was known by police, fire, librarians, volunteered, was known in all of the stores and by clerks and managers, and was a sweetheart of a guy. He never met a stranger and was kind to all. He's been in Mountain View for many years.
There are previous articles about him which you can read.
He was a gentle giant.

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

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