Local teen died Tuesday after being hit by ATV at Matthews’ Christ Covenant Church
by Kara Lopp
Hundreds of people gathered at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews Wednesday evening to mourn the loss of Evan Wolfe.
The 15-year-old Weddington resident died late Tuesday after being struck by an ATV in the parking lot of the church. He was among hundreds of teens participating in the church’s third annual Seek the City outreach event. The teens and adult chaperones volunteer at agencies around the region during the day and return to the church every night to pray and sleep.
A rising junior at Metrolina Christian Academy in Indian Trail, Wolfe had just returned from his long day of volunteering at about 10:30 p.m. when witnesses said he decided to lay in the church driveway and watch the storm that was rolling in. It was then he was hit by the ATV, said Matthews Police Officer Stason Tyrrell. The ATV was driven by church volunteer Patrick Keaton, 43, of Mint Hill. Other teens were near Wolfe but he was the only one struck, Tyrrell said. He was taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte where he soon died from his injuries. Metrolina Christian planned to host a prayer vigil at the school Thursday in Wolfe’s honor, a spokeswoman said.
Police are still gathering witness statements and, as required with every death investigation, will be presenting their results to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office, who will determine if charges will be filed against the driver, Tyrrell said. That doesn’t mean, however, the department is pushing for charges against Keaton, he said.
“It’s an absolute tragedy and a pure accident as far as we can tell,” Tyrrell said Thursday.
The news sent shock waves through the Matthews community this week and led to the cancellation of Wednesday’s Seek the City volunteer program. But the volunteer effort was up and running Thursday, at the request of Wolfe’s family, Senior Pastor Mike Ross wrote in a letter to church members on the church’s website. Plans for a Summer Fun Night on Friday, however, have been canceled.
The family asked “as a ministry, to finish the (Seek the City) ministry week and our kids who have trained and prayed for this week of service want to continue in honor of their fallen friend and to complete their (Seek the City) ministries,” Ross wrote. “Our pastoral and youth staff have been heroically ministering to the young man’s family, the volunteer who was driving the vehicle, the Seek the City kids who have been on our campus and serving our community and their families.”
There has been discussion of holding funeral services at the church Saturday, but details were not finalized at press time.