Charges Unlikely in 1995 Hit-and-Run Death

By: Al Knox - Email
By: Al Knox - Email

“There’s a girl lying in the ditch that was hit on a bicycle.” Those chilling word were spoken to a 911 Wood County dispatcher 17 years ago.

On March 24, 1995, 11-year-old Deidre Week was hit and killed while riding her bike home from a 4-H meeting in the Town of Vesper. It was about 6:30 p.m. Deidre was heading north on County Highway HH just north of Vesper. She was only a few minutes away from her home.

James Vruwink said he witnessed the accident. He also placed the call to 911. He said the occupants of the vehicle were driving a maroon or burgundy mid-sized car. Possibly a Chevrolet Celebrity.

Despite years of tracking leads, neither county nor state police could solve the case.

The Wood County Sheriff, Tom Reichert says there have been no substantial clues. However, Deidre’s parents disagree. Brenda and Dave Week say they feel more could have been done to solve this case years ago. “We don’t feel that Deidre ever had the proper investigation. We don’t feel the right people were questioned. That right questions were answered.”

Deidre’s dad was one of the first people on scene. He says they are still trying to uncover exactly what happened, knowing someone out there has the answers. The Weeks believe they know who's responsible, although their attorney advised them not to give details.

Unfortunately, it's unlikely the person responsible will ever be charged. The death was ruled a hit-and-run, which has a statute of limitations. That means if someone was going to be charged with the crime it had to be done prior to 2001. The only way the case could ever go to court is if authorities had enough evidence to charge someone with homicide.

Until the case is closed, the Weeks say they have the memories of their daughter to keep them going. “We have an angel that’s helping us. We really do."

The case is still open and investigators say if you have any information you should contact the Wood County Sheriff’s Department at 715-421-8700.

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