Driver accused of fatally striking girl in Charleston had fentanyl in system, report says

Driver accused of fatally striking girl in Charleston had fentanyl in system, report says

Report: Driver in Charleston crash that killed 11-year-old girl had opioids in his system

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – Authorities say a man charged in a fatal downtown crash that killed an 11-year-old Danish girl had opioids in his system.

Investigators with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division released a forensic services laboratory report for Jeffrey William Wakefield who was charged with felony DUI and reckless homicide in the July crash that killed Selma Akguel of Denmark.

In addition, lab results found he also tested positive for Mitragynine, an opioid receptor, and Diphenhydramine, an antihistamine used to treat allergies.

At the time of his arrest, Wakefield blew a 0.00 on his breath test, according to supplemental reports released. Authorities say the test was given to Wakefield after the crash, but wouldnt have shown any additional drugs that could have been in his system at the time.

“There was still a chance that Mr. Wakefield had other illegal substances in his system,” the report stated. Wakefield also told his father over the phone that he had gotten high and killed someone in previously released reports.

While he was on the phone with his father, he also said there isnt anything in my blood right now, but it might be in my system, according to authorities.

Wakefield also told a nurse at Roper St. Francis that he was prescribed a number of different medications on a as needed basis, according to the report.

Selma Akguel was later identified as the victim struck by Wakefields SUV which sped through the intersection of Calhoun Drive at Rutledge Avenue before going up onto the sidewalk and killing her, Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds said.

Wakefield claimed he had been out drinking with a friend and only had non-alcoholic beer prior to the crash.

A toxicology report released today shows that Jeffrey Wakefield, 30, the Charleston man who killed an 11-year-old Danish girl with his car in downtown Charleston in July, had the synthetic opioid Fentanyl in his system at the time of the crash.

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Fentanyl is 80-100 times stronger than morphine.

Wakefield was suspected to be under the influence by police after he drove through the intersection of Calhoun and Rutledge and onto the sidewalk, striking Selma Akguel, who was visiting with her parents from Denmark on the night of July 9.

According to a to the toxicology report administered by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), Wakefield had the following drugs in his system based on a blood sample:

Kratom is a natural herb produced by a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. Consumption of the tree leaves produces opioid-like effects, according to the DEA.

According to Dr. Robert Bennett, a forensic toxicologist, both Fentanyl and Mitragynine produce the same effects as heroin.

The DEA is working to declare Kratom a controlled substance, calling the drug an “imminent hazard to public safety.”

Wakefield 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.

In the police report, an officer overheard Wakefield say to his father in another phone call, “I got high and killed someone tonight.”

In the supplemental police report, the suspect told a nurse in front of police about a list of his prescription drugs, including Neurontin, Lexapro, Percocet and Gabapentin.


Posted in Charleston