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Father unlicensed when girl was run over

The man whose daughter was killed Saturday by a rolling car could face a felony charge.

By CHRIS TISCH
Published May 26, 2004

LARGO - The father of a 2-year-old girl run over by her family car Saturday afternoon has a suspended driver's license, which could be a factor in possible charges filed against him in his daughter's death.

Kevin S. Wolfe, 30, allowed a 12-year-old boy to drive his family's station wagon during a birthday party Saturday afternoon. Wolfe was sitting in the passenger side and had some degree of control of the car when it ran over his 2-year-old daughter, Summer, police said.

The child was pronounced dead at the hospital more than an hour later.

Police said Wolfe's driver's license had been suspended in Pennsylvania, though it couldn't be learned Tuesday what prompted that suspension. He did not have a driver's license in Florida, records show, and therefore should not have been in any type of control of the station wagon, said Largo police Sgt. George Edmiston.

Police said they could have arrested Wolfe Saturday, but elected to allow him time to grieve with his family. Officers plan to meet with the State Attorney's Office to determine if Wolfe should face any charges in connection with his daughter's death.

Wolfe could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The accident occurred Saturday afternoon at Longbranch Apartments, 2175 62nd St. N., after a neighbor told Wolfe she was planning a birthday party for her 8-year-old son. Wolfe volunteered to help clear cars out of a small parking lot so the kids would have a place to play.

That's when he let the 12-year-old boy get behind the wheel for his first drive, police said. Wolfe sat in the passenger seat with the door open and had some control over the steering wheel and gear shift, police said.

Summer stood near the passenger side of the car.

As the car lurched into reverse, the boy got scared and jumped out. The open passenger door knocked Summer down, then the front tire rolled over her.

Police did not release the name of the 12-year-boy and do not plan to pursue any charges against him.

Wolfe could be charged with allowing an unauthorized person to drive, which is a misdemeanor; or he could face a more serious felony charge of driving with a suspended license in which a death occurred, police said.

"He's got no business even being in control of a vehicle, period," Edmiston said. "I'll take it to the state to let them make the final decision."

[Last modified May 26, 2004, 01:00:46]


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