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Danish girl, 11, hit, killed in Charleston by impaired hit-&-run driver, police say

Jeffrey William Wakefield (Charleston County Detention Center).jpg
Jeffrey William Wakefield. (Charleston County Detention Center)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Police say an 11-year-old girl has died after being hit by a vehicle Monday night in Charleston near Calhoun Street and Rutledge Avenue.

The driver of the vehicle that hit the child is believed to have been impaired and fleeing the scene of a previous hit-and-run wreck, according to the Charleston Police Department.

Jeffrey William Wakefield, 30, of Charleston, is in jail at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center, charged with felony DUI and reckless homicide for his role in the wreck, according to Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis.

The girl, identified as Selma Akguel of Middlefart, Denmark, was taken off life support early Tuesday morning. She and her family were visiting the United States from Denmark and had only been in Charleston a few days, according to Francis.

Police say Wakefield drove his 2014 Nissan Pathfinder SUV through the intersection of Calhoun and Rutledge shortly before 9 p.m. Monday, traveling onto the adjacent sidewalk and hitting the girl.

Wakefield seemed impaired to officers and failed a sobriety test at the scene of the wreck, according to police. Police say they took breath, blood and urine samples from Wakefield for analysis.

Investigators believe Wakefield hit a parked vehicle on Rutledge Avenue prior to the incident with the child and drove off. The driver of the parked vehicle wasn’t injured, police say.

At his bond hearing Tuesday afternoon, Wakefield received a $50,000 bond for the charge of reckless homicide, but was denied bond for the felony DUI charge.

A criminal background check on Wakefield provided by SLED shows a 2016 arrest in Columbia on a prostitution charge. Wakefield has not been convicted of that charge, SLED records show.

During Wakefield's bond hearing, a prosecutor claimed Wakefield had a prior DUI arrest in Georgia.

*Editor's note: In the video included with this story, Charleston Police say the victim was the only child of her family. Police have since corrected themselves to not the couple has two other children.