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Waltham man pleads not guilty to vehicular homicide charge

Posted by Metro Desk  November 24, 2010 03:39 PM

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A Waltham man pleaded not guilty today to motor vehicle homicide charges stemming from a May 5 crash that killed a nine-year-boy when the driver allegedly ran a stop sign while working as a Domino's pizza delivery man.

Philip Wuonola, 19, was released on personal recognizance following his arraignment in Waltham District Court. According to Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.'s offce, Wuonola was driving a 2002 Mazda Protégé when it collided with a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee at the intersection of Adams and Walnut streets in Waltham.

The impact overturned the SUV, ejecting Daniel Raymundo, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, according to Waltham police. Raymundo was rushed to Newton Wellesley Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The child's mother, Ana Pena-Rivera, was pulled out from under the SUV and survived.

Wuonola's attorney, Joseph W. Monahan III, said today that his client has been devastated by the child's death.

"The kid is traumatized by this, completely,'' Monahan said in a telephone interview. "He calls my crying and everything.''

He also said that one issue he will pursue is whether the child's death was caused by the crash or by the mother's failure to use a seatbelt for the boy. "We are going to be litigating that issue,'' Monahan said.

Monahan said Wuonola has a new job, but he would not disclose what it is. "He is doing something very menial, just so he can eat,'' he said. "There's not much he can do, everybody in the whole community knows about this case.''

Originally published on the blog MetroDesk.

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