View Full Version : Six-year-old Drives to School

7th Jan 2009, 02:17
Can you believe this?
Va. 6-Year-Old Takes Family Car After Missing Bus

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 6, 2009; 7:49 PM

The word "miracle" can be overused. But when a 6-year-old boy drives a Ford Taurus for more than 10 miles, weaving in and out of oncoming traffic, slams into a utility pole and no one gets hurt, well, maybe miracle is appropriate.

That's what happened on Virginia's Northern Neck on Monday morning, when the first-grader missed his school bus and decided to drive his mom's car to elementary school so he wouldn't miss breakfast and PE, authorities said yesterday.

The boy's parents were later arrested and charged with felony child endangerment. Wilkins said the father was under court order not to leave the 6-year-old and his 4-year-old sibling alone with their mother at their home in the town of Wicomico Church. But the father left for work at 6:30 a.m., and the mother was still asleep when the 6-year-old missed the bus and drove off at 7:40 a.m. for Northumberland Elementary School, Wilkins said.

Sgt. Thomas A. Cunningham Jr. of the Virginia State Police said the boy is not particularly tall for his age and was "possibly standing" while driving the Taurus. Wilkins said the child had an idea about how to start, propel and steer the car from playing video games.

Once he got going, the boy navigated his way along Route 200 (Dupont Highway), across a bridge spanning the Great Wicomico River, and then turned west on Northumberland Highway. He made it through two intersections, Wilkins said, and then was "doing a pretty great rate of speed" as he passed cars on the two-lane road.

Other drivers noticed. Two people called the sheriff's office, one called the state police, and at least one motorist "shouted at him to get off the road when he came to an intersection," Cunningham said.

The boy had gone 10.4 miles, the sheriff said, and was about a mile and a half from his school in Heathsville when he decided to cross the double line and pass again. But this time, he saw a tractor-trailer coming toward him in the other lane.

He quickly whipped the car back into his lane, but, unlike in video games, the car swerved out of control, skidded into an embankment and then struck a utility pole on the rear passenger side. Wilkins said the force of the impact cracked a wooden beam on top of the utility pole. The Taurus was severely damaged if not totaled, Cunningham said.

Northumberland deputies Jeff VanLandingham and Roger Briney arrived first. "He was crying, hysterical," Briney said, "not from any pain, he was just adrenalined up on fright." Briney said another motorist said she'd been driving 60 mph, and the boy had zoomed past her.

Briney said he unzipped the boy's coat to check for injuries, found none, zipped it back up and the boy turned and walked away. "I said, 'Where are you going?' " Briney said. "He said, 'My school's right over there. I'm late.' I said, 'We'll get you to school.' "

The boy was taken to Rappahannock General Hospital, was released, and was back in school for PE that afternoon. He was not identified because he is, well, 6. The boy was placed in foster care; his mother was in jail, officials said.

Brian Abraham
7th Jan 2009, 03:42
Saddest part is having to get to school so as to not miss breakfast. Why do some folk have kids?

7th Jan 2009, 14:16
Im speechless :ooh:

Thou it reminds me of the simpsons when maggie took homers car for a drive!

American homes with kids need to invest in manual cars:E

Standard Noise
7th Jan 2009, 14:27
Look at it this way, it beats the many adults on the roads who drive no better than 6 year olds.

7th Jan 2009, 14:56
My uncle bought his eight year old son (my cousin) a car so he could drive down to the farm gate (in Australia, a distance of a couple of miles) to meet the school bus each morning. It was a Suzuki Sierra little four wheel drive :)

7th Jan 2009, 20:03

The Taurus was severely damaged if not totaled

Effort :ok:

7th Jan 2009, 20:14
Hell's bells, I knew farm kids when I was growing up who could drive both the landrover and the tractor, clear muster the bush paddock, feed out to the heifers, and bring the motorbike back to the house, all by the age of six, and all before breakfast.

And this kid can't steer an automatic on a sealed road without having a prang? Bloody video generation, useless to a man the lot of 'em.

Pappa Smurf
7th Jan 2009, 20:58
I was one of those paddock drivers on the farm.

Memory fades a bit but think first drive was a truck at 5.--attempted drive.A few years later was the landrover and massey fergurson driver.
Looking back i dont know how i drived cause when i was 16 and got licence i needed a cushion behind me.
Seeing old photos in the Landy,was peering through steering wheel and sitting on edge of seat which explained the odd kangaroo hop when i hit a bump as foot was just touching accelerator.

amber 1
7th Jan 2009, 21:23
First drove a tractor (Grey Fergy) at 5 helping Dad put out cattle feed. Vaguely remember having to slide off the seat to get the clutch fully down. Don't think I was allowed to drive the Landrover until I was about 7 or 8 though.

8th Jan 2009, 00:47
Similar story to amber 1's. First drove a grey Massey Ferguson tractor at five and went onto the Landrover at seven. All on private land.

8th Jan 2009, 01:34
I didn't start out so young.. My dad was a rig driver so i started shunting 40ft trailers when i was about 15 in the yard. Was tricky but i got used to it. Didn't drive a car until i was 17!

Howard Hughes
8th Jan 2009, 02:58
Six years old? Isn't that the legal driving age in Arkansas...;)

8th Jan 2009, 03:43
Isn't that the legal driving age in Arkansas...

Naw, that's the leagal age to marry your brother. :p

Howard Hughes
8th Jan 2009, 04:43
Why would I want to marry my brother?


8th Jan 2009, 13:00
Naw, that's the leagal age to marry your brother.

Is there something we should know about con-pilot? :E

8th Jan 2009, 13:12
Where's the big news item here? 6 year olds taking cars without the owner's consent happens all the time in the UK. The only difference being they wouldn't have a clue where their school was..:\

Beatriz Fontana
8th Jan 2009, 15:03
If it happened over in the UK, the child would have sat in peak time traffic for an hour, then half parked their Chelsea Tractor right outside the school gates on the no parking lines and clogged up the road for everyone else...

8th Jan 2009, 15:18
I feel really sorry for the poor little man.
What a bl**dy family to be born into.
Hope the parents are forced into treating
him, and any other kids they have, better than
they are doing at present. Bl**dy Awful. :ugh:

8th Jan 2009, 16:50
Just goes to show you... Video Games are bad for you!
Said that for years!

Howard Hughes
9th Jan 2009, 00:54
Luckily he didn't have flight sim, nor his parents own an aircraft...:}

9th Jan 2009, 02:12
There's another one here:

FOXNews.com - Police: Rhode Island Boys Stole Car to Get to School on Time - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,478184,00.html)

This time two 15-16 year olds stole a car to get to school. One was found in the 'suspension' class with the keys and the car was in the school car park.

Now that's dedication. Stealing a car to get to Detention on-time.:p

9th Jan 2009, 03:07
Now that's dedication.

Yup, you must admire such dedication. :p

Don't know how the Judge will look at it. :\