By Jeff ShieldsMatunda was driving down Seventh Street in South Philadelphia shortly before 9 p.m. when an Oldsmobile Aurora driven by a woman fleeing police smashed into his vehicle at Christian Street. The impact sent the Honda tumbling up the block, littering the street with the couple's load of wares.
PHILADELPHIA - During a police chase in South Philadelphia, this car was struck near Seventh and Christian Streets. The driver is believed to have been killed in the accident. Robert Matunda and Maren Reese had packed up their Honda Element on Monday, preparing to haul their fashion and jewelry designs to a convention in Chicago, when the unthinkable happened.
Matunda was killed instantly; Reese, in the passenger seat, survived and was in stable condition at Thomas Jefferson University Medical Center last night, Philadelphia police said.
The two had dropped their 6-month-old boy at Reese's mother's house on Saturday in anticipation of the trip, said Detective Sgt. James Schrack. Matunda was killed just a few blocks from the couple's home in the 600 block of Reed Street. They ran their business, Letau Designs, out of their home, according to the company's Web site.
The woman driving the Oldsmobile, Nafeesah Riddick, 22, of the 1300 block of Ellsworth Street, was charged yesterday with murder, voluntary manslaughter, homicide by vehicle, fleeing police, and assorted assault and drug offenses. She was treated at Jefferson and released into police custody.
Her passenger, Alicia Brooks, 20, of the 600 block of Latona Street, faces drug and criminal conspiracy charges. She was in stable condition last night at Jefferson.
Police had observed the pair selling crack in the 1300 block of Fitzwater Street, said Schrack, and officers followed their vehicle, attempting to pull them over at Ninth and Christian. Riddick then sped off down Christian Street, plowing into Matunda's vehicle two blocks later.
Suspect's car in police chase kills driver in Phila.