A 9-year-old driver and her 4-year-old sister crashed into a truck early on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, while driving to California.
The West Valley City Police Department shared on Facebook that a 9-year-old driver and her 4-year-old sister were driving to California because they wanted to swim when they were involved in a crash with a semi-truck.
The driver had side-swept another vehicle and then swerved into the semi-truck, which caused the crash on an on-ramp at 3200 W. on South Frontage Road in West Valley City n Utah.
A police vehicle pulling over a car on the side of the road. | Photo: Shutterstock
The truck driver called the police as he believed the driver was under the influence. However, he was stunned when he noticed that the driver and passenger looked far too young to be driving a car.
The West Valley City Police Department shared the body camera footage, in which one of the police officers is heard questioning if the young girl was, in fact, the driver. The Department wrote alongside the footage:
" 'SHE WAS DRIVING?!' Officers got quite a surprise when they responded to an accident this morning and discovered the person behind the wheel was a 9-year-old girl."
A photo of body camera footage that shows the aftermath of the young driver's crash. West Valley City, Utah, 2021. | Photo: facebook.com/WVCPolice
Fortunately, neither of the children was seriously injured. However, their parents' car was badly damaged, and the semi-truck had to be towed away. The kids made it 10 miles before getting into the accident.
Stories of children driving cars when they are too young are not uncommon.
They told police officers that they wanted to go to California to visit the beach and swim with dolphins. The pair had apparently been talking about visiting the state for a while.
The two siblings, who share a bedroom, took the family car at 3:00 a.m. and after about an hour and a half of figuring out the basics of how to drive, they started driving towards California. Then just after 5:00 a.m., they crashed.
Their parents were completely unaware of the situation and were sleeping when officers informed them of the situation. Detective Scott List with the West Jordan Police Department said that the parents "were shocked… They had no idea."
List said there were no signs or history of neglect within the home or evidence that the parents knew of their children's plans. The parents have requested that their identities remain private.
Stories of children driving cars when they are too young are not uncommon. But, unfortunately, it does not always end happily like the story above. In April, a 14-year-old badly injured a young boy while driving a truck.
In New Orleans, a 14-year-old girl was driving a GMC Truck when she collided with a 9-year-old boy driving a dirt bike on Charlene Lane and Carol Lane. He sustained serious injuries but was in stable condition.
Another 14-year-old was involved in a vehicular accident in Pheonix in December 2020. As a result, one of the passengers, a 12-year-old boy, was killed, and two other passengers were thrown from the vehicle's windows.