South Hadley man charged in death of Westfield pizza delivery driver



Published: 12-14-2016 1:09 AM

NORTHAMPTON — A grand jury handed up a vehicular homicide charge for a South Hadley man police said caused a fatal, two-vehicle crash in May that claimed the life of Thomas Flanagan, a 29-year-old Westfield man and father of two who was delivering pizzas at the time of the crash.

The indictment came Dec. 7, charging Ryan D. Brunelle with one count of motor vehicle homicide in Hampshire Superior Court. Brunelle was allegedly “under the influence of (marijuana), narcotic drugs, depressants, or stimulant substances” when he was driving a car on College Street (Route 116) in South Hadley just after 7 p.m. May 22 when he crossed the center line, smashing into Flanagan’s car, according to the indictment. There were no passengers in either vehicle.

That evening, Flanagan was transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, where he was pronounced dead. The accused, Brunelle, also was transported to Baystate with non-life-threatening injuries.

Brunelle is expected to be arraigned Jan. 2, 2017, according to court staff.

Flanagan’s family told the Gazette in May that the man operated his own photo booth rental company, Take Two Photo Booths, with the idea in mind of being able to work from home more often. He spent days with his son and daughter, ages 3 and 2, and his evenings delivering pizzas for extra income.

Michael Majchrowicz can be reached at