New Castle News

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December 1, 2012

Octavius Stone Funeral: Family, friends and public servants pay respects to young ‘superhero’

NEW CASTLE — As Virgil Eldon Coonfare spent a day of freedom from jail yesterday, a family overcome with grief buried their child.

Cynthia “Chanet” Clark Jones went to her 7-year-old son’s funeral yesterday, questioning why Coonfare is walking around on the streets.

“He could do this to other people before these tests come back,” she said of blood alcohol tests that will determine if he was impaired when his truck ran over her child.

Octavius James Stone was playing in a yard on Winslow Avenue around 2:15 p.m. Sunday with his 9-year-old friend, Ozzy Velez. Police say Coonfare’s car turned a corner, went into the yard and hit both boys.

Stone died as a neighbor who witnessed the accident comforted him and prayed over him. Velez suffered trauma and bruising and was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital.

New Castle police arrested Coonfare after the accident and have charged him with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, aggravated assault by vehicle and DUI. He had been in jail without bond until Thursday, when the court set a bond at $25,000 and he posted bail.

“My son was 7 years old. He was perfect,” a devastated Jones said yesterday, going into the church. “Now he doesn’t have a chance to do anything. Our son was a hero. I just don’t understand how (Coonfare) could be released. It’s not fair.”

She and other family members attended the calling hours and service in white T-shirts with Octavius’ picture on them, remembering him as a “superhero.”

(Reporter Debbie Wachter has the complete story in the Weekend edition of The News.)

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