Boy, 8, drove mother’s car for miles with sibling in back

·1-min read
 (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Archive)
(Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Archive)

An eight-year-old boy drove through a city in North Carolina with his infant sibling in the back seat, police said.

The child’s mother handed him her keys and asked him to start the vehicle as they left a relative’s home on Tuesday night, WSOC-TV reported.

But she was left shocked after he began driving the vehicle across town with his one-year-old sibling in the back seat.

In a 911 call, the boy’s mother reported that the two children were missing and said they weren’t sure if someone stole the car or a child drove it away.

“We tried to chase him down the road,” she told the 911 operator.

Gastonia Police spokesman Rick Goodale said the 8-year-old, who is about 4 feet, 6 inches tall, drove nearly 2 miles to his home, then left again before authorities stopped him several blocks later.

“These roads that he travelled are not backcountry roads with no other cars. These are well-travelled roads in the city of Gastonia,” Goodale said. “This could have ended in tragedy.”

The boy’s mother said he had never driven a car and “accidentally” put it in reverse, then put it into drive when it started moving.

The boy said he was scared and drove in the middle of the road to avoid cars, but knew to stop at traffic lights because he watched his mum do it.

The 8-year-old isn’t facing charges, but Goodale said the police department has referred the matter to the Department of Social Services.

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