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5-Year-Old Drives His Grandma's Car

Photograph by ThinkStock

A 5-year-old in Heidelberg, Pa. got behind the wheel of his grandmother's car … and then took the vehicle for a scary joyride around the neighborhood, police say.

The boy, who lives with his mother and grandmother, took the keys to grandma's car and proceeded to go for a drive on a nearby block, said Heidelberg police chief Vernon Barkley. Witnesses were stunned at the sight of the car whizzing by: "It just took off screeching across the street," neighbor Charles Hilpert said of the scene.

Fortunately, the child didn't get very far, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. He drove only about 100 feet before crashing into a neighbor’s bushes. Even luckier, he also doesn't seem to have been seriously injured by the escapade. Though the airbags in the car were deployed, the boy appears to have merely suffered minor facial cuts. Nevertheless, he was taken to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC to be thoroughly checked out by doctors.

His mother and grandmother, Rebecca and Lisa Linderman, won't scrape by as easily, however. Yesterday afternoon, Heidelberg police charged them both with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. Explains chief Barkley, "Someone should have been paying attention to what the child was doing."

Barkley says neither woman had even been aware that the boy had left. "They weren't keeping an eye on him," said Barkley. “There needs to be some type of counseling to ensure this doesn't happen again."

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