There's no neglect on the parents' behalf. This is just a kid thinking he could do it. —Ogden Polcie Lt. Danielle Croyle
OGDEN — A 5-year-old girl tried to have her older brother drive her to the store early Thursday.
The problem was, her older brother is only 8 years old.
But that didn't stop the boy from getting his mother's keys, starting up the mini-van and attempting to drive to the store.
The incident happened about 2 a.m. near 525 Park Blvd. in Ogden. The two children didn't get very far, however, crashing just after leaving the entrance to their apartment complex.
"The van pulls out and comes around and hits trees along the tree line on the river parkway," said Ogden Police Lt. Danielle Croyle.
Amazingly, the children were not injured, even though the van went down an embankment and crashed into several trees, which prevented the cars from going into the Ogden River.
Several people witnessed the accident right after it happened and assisted the children. When police interviewed the young driver, he told them, "I was just taking my sister to the store."
"He was like, 'I put the key in it, but I didn't think I turned it all the way,' and I guess he didn't even realize he backed it up and got it all the way across the street," said Justine McDonald, who was one of the first to help the small children after the crash. "I was like, 'Did you drive it? Was there anyone else in there?'"
The boy and girl were shaken after they realized how close they had come to going into the river, she said.
Holly Maxwell said the girl held her hand tightly after she got out of the vehicle, and the boy even commented they were lucky they didn't go into the river.
But otherwise, "They're fine, there's not a scratch on them," Maxwell said.
When the children's mother was informed what had happened, Croyle said she was extremely distraught.
"She can't believe it's happening," the lieutenant said.
The mother told investigators she had put both children to bed and then went to bed herself. Croyle said no charges would be filed.
"There's no neglect on the parents' behalf. This is just a kid thinking he could do it," she said.