Sunday, March 05, 2006

2243 Was there no way to stop her

from killing her little girl? Six year old Abigail Gilda Volpe was killed by her drunk mother in a pick-up truck that rammed a tree not far from here last Wednesday. Another driver notified the police and was following the erratic driver reporting on what she was doing. I believe I heard on the news that Kelly Volpe had 11 DUIs. The news story said she had no license and her husband had removed the plates from the car and taken the car keys, but somehow she was driving AND drinking at the same time. WBNS story here.

I'm wondering where our vigilant county children's services was. The woman obviously had a record that screamed "I'm incompetent and might kill my child." In another story that's been all over our newspapers for months, a couple lost custody of their 11 special needs children because they had chicken wire around their beds (called cages in the news stories). All those children were taken from their parents (who are trying to get them back) and placed in foster homes. Why wasn't little Abigail taken from the home for protection if her father couldn't protect her from her mother? A drunken parent is a lot more dangerous for a child than one who keeps a handicapped child restrained.

From March 4 Columbus Dispatch: Since the crash that killed 6-year-old Abigail Volpe last week, Perry Township Police Chief Robert Oppenheimer has looked at her mother’s arrest record with anger and disbelief. Dating to the 1980s, it includes at least six drunken-driving convictions, repeated license suspensions, convictions for forging drug prescriptions and a host of other traffic offenses.

A week after the Feb. 24 wreck, Oppenheimer said he and his officers continue to sort out Kelly Volpe’s string of court appearances and convictions. He has found paperwork for six drunken-driving convictions; he thinks there are eight. When Volpe crashed shortly before 8 that night, her license was suspended.

"I guess my question is, what is she even doing behind the wheel?" he said. "Nothing’s worked for her, and look what happened: She killed somebody.
"Somewhere along the line, you have to bang ’em so hard they’re not going to do it." . . Yesterday, Abigail’s small casket sat next to pink and purple balloons at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Upper Arlington.

"It’s really broken our hearts to see a little innocent thing die," Oppenheimer said.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Norma,
I received a phone call this weekend from an old High School friend that told me about this horrible, horrible tragedy.

I started trying to research it to find out what I could and....WOW...one of your postings came up. (small world!)

Well, I graduated from High School with Kelly. (Then Kelly Curry) As a matter of fact, in 10th grade she crashed my then boyfriends 1964 Convertible Cutlass and it was totalled. I kept my distance from her but did know both of her brothers and parents well. I did some insurance work for her mother and her father's sister referred me to a large group account which I had for a couple of years. I always heard about how bad she was doing and wondered how long this would go on before something devasting would happen. Her now husband also attended my High School, although he was about 6 years older and a very nice guy.

This whole thing has really made me sick.
~Holly

Anonymous said...

I understand your frustration over the tragic death of this little girl. However, to almost attack her father for not doing more and stating that this little girl should have been taken away is completly out of touch. I personally know Abigail's father, he loved her more than life itself. I'm sure there isn't a second that passes that he doesn't ask himself "what more could I have done." I pray that he doesn't come accross this posting. Children aren't always better by being taken away, the exact same thing could have happened considering the state seems to let just about anybody become a foster parent these days.

Norma said...

I don't doubt his love, for either his child or his wife. However, this accident was preventable, first by her immediate family, and if they couldn't do it, by the authorities charged with protecting children.

How dangerous does the home environment need to be before a child is removed, in your opinion? The child's mother had a long history of showing she couldn't be trusted to remain sober.

Alcoholics love their children just as much as anyone else. And millions of them struggle one day at a time by attending meetings and relying on the support of other alcoholics to live safe and sober.

Anonymous said...

I was sick to hear about this tragic accident. I knew the father from a long time ago and he was a good man. Not sure if I ever meet Kelly. But, How dare you try and put blame on the father!
It sound like the state failed Abigail and her father. He has lost everything, wife, family but most of all his Daughter!!!
Shame on you!

JazzMan said...

You must be kidding!! This woman has a serious substance abuse problem. Do you think she intentionally killed her daughter? This is not about placing blame but recognizing a major tragedy and preventing it in the future. Kelly loved Abagil to death and she has paid for this as she must live with this for the rest of her life. Jail is not the place for her. Her payment to society is to save one life and she can't do that behind bars. The last thing Abagil would have wanted is to have her mom in jail.