Coroner identifies 11-year-old girl killed in fatal downtown crash

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – About 8:55 p.m. Monday, July 9, 2018, an auto-pedestrian accident occurred at Calhoun Street and Rutledge Avenue, according to the Charleston Police Department Public Information Officer Charles Francis.

Selma Akguel, 11, of Middelfart, Denmark has been identified as the pedestrian struck by the SUV, according to Deputy Coroner Sheila Williams.

A 2014 Nissan Pathfinder sport utility vehicle driven by Jeffrey William Wakefield, 30, of Dogwood Road, was traveling south on Rutledge Avenue, Francis stated.

The vehicle went through the intersection, onto the sidewalk on the south side of the intersection and struck an Selma, according to the report. 

The report states that the girl was transported to MUSC with life threatening injuries. Selma was taken off of life-support earlier this morning, the report added.

The victim and her family are Danish and have only been in Charleston a few days, Francis said.

Wakefield showed signs of impairment and failed a standardized field sobriety test at the scene, according to the report. After providing a breath sample, he was transported to St. Francis Hospital where he submitted blood and urine samples which will be sent to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for testing, the report stated.

Wakefield is charged with felony driving under the influence and reckless homicide, Francis added.

This accident is being investigated by the Charleston Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team. 

Investigators have determined that Wakefield was involved in a hit and run accident at Rutledge Avenue and Morris Street prior to the incident at Calhoun Street and Rutledge Avenue. The report also states that he struck an unoccupied parked vehicle.

At his bond hearing this afternoon, Wakefield received a $50,000 bond for the charge of reckless homicide and he was denied bond for the charge of felony driving under the influence.

Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds says, “I am very angry and committed to improved traffic efforts in our city. Those were already in the works prior to this incident, and include the creation of a Traffic Committee of various city partnering agencies to continue to look at three primary areas, we call them the three E’s: education, enforcement and engineering.”

Reynolds says this includes cracking down on drunk and drugged drivers.

The community has come together to show support for the Akguel family by creating a memorial at the base of a tree in Cannon Park for Selma.

News 2 will have more on this story as it develops.

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