Family, friends remember Matthews teen killed by ATV

Family, friends remember Matthews teen killed by ATV

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by BEN THOMPSON / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Follow: @BenTNews | Email

WCNC.com

Posted on June 22, 2011 at 7:38 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 23 at 1:28 PM

MATTHEWS, N.C. -- Friends and family gathered Wednesday night to remember a Matthews teenager killed in a horrible accident during Tuesday night's storms.

A service was held at Christ Covenant Church for 15-year-old Evan Wolfe.

Wolfe was lying down on the driveway of the Covenant Day School Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. in the rain.  The pastor said Wolfe and a small group of teenagers were watching the storm go by when he was hit by the ATV.

"It was an accident.  It's not like anyone was being negligent or grossly irresponsible.  It's just that accidents happen.  And I think that's how the family's looking at it," said Pastor Michael Ross of Christ Covenant Church.

The driver of the ATV has been identified as 43-year-old Patrick O. Keaton of Mint Hill. He is involved in the youth ministry at the church.

Keaton was on his way from the high school to the church across the street when the accident happened.  Keaton told police he did not see Wolfe because it was raining so hard.

"He was driving and the water was in his face," Ross said.

Pastor Ross said Wolfe was with a chaperone at the time and it was just before the teenagers were expected to go to bed for the night.  Wolfe was taken to Carolinas Medical Center, but Ross said he died on the way.

A group of approximately 300 teenagers are attending the school's "Seek the City" community outreach program this week.  They spend the day volunteering for local organizations and then spend the evenings at the high school.  Camp was canceled Wednesday, but is expected to resume Thursday and Friday.

Members of the Christ Covenant Church Pastoral staff, youth staff, and other leaders have been on campus to comfort and counsel with the other students and their chaperones, according to a statement from the church. Pastors are also caring for the parents of the student.

Wolfe attended Metrolina Christian Academy but was transferring to the High School at Covenant Day for his senior year, and already attended the church.  Ross said he was a respected church member and a friend to many.

"A handsome young man, gifted, very popular with his peers.  And sort of a leader among the students.  Hadn't really decided what he was going to study at college, but he was at the stage in his life," he explained.

The accident is under investigation and police have not determined if any criminal charges will be filed.

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