Driver who hit child faces new charges

By TImes staff writer
Published February 10, 2007

RIVERVIEW - Two days after his fatal collision with a 3-year-old neighbor, Pete Dreydoppel faced a new round of charges Friday that for the first time linked his actions to the child's death.

Edward Francis Gould III was pushing his toy truck through the Alafia Riverwoods Mobile Home Park on Wednesday afternoon when Dreydoppel's Nissan truck hit the boy as his mother looked on.

The day of the accident, authorities arrested Dreydoppel, 52, 6521 Riverview Drive, Lot 5, on unrelated warrants charging him with driving without a valid driver's license and operating an unregistered vehicle. On Thursday, they added marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession charges after searching his home.

But Friday, he was newly charged in direct connection with the crash: driving without a license with death or serious bodily injury, operating an unregistered vehicle and attaching an unassigned tag to his truck. He remained at the Falkenburg Road Jail on Friday night, his bail increased to $53,500. The investigation continues.

Funeral services for Edward were scheduled for noon today at Serenity Meadows Funeral Home, 6919 Providence Road in Riverview, with visitation beginning at 11 a.m.