An eight-year-old boy drove off in his mother’s car through a North Carolina city with his one-year-old sibling in the back, police have said.
His mother gave him the keys and asked him to start the SUV as they left a family member’s home on Tuesday, said local station WSOC-TV.
She said her son had never driven before, but put the car in reverse “accidentally” before putting it in drive when it started moving.
In a 911 call, she reported her two children missing and said she wasn’t sure if the car had been stolen or if her son was behind the wheel.
“We tried to chase him down the road,” she told the 911 operator.
Police in Gastonia, just west of Charlotte, said the boy had driven about two miles to his home before leaving again. They were able to stop him a few blocks later.
“These roads that he travelled are not backcountry roads with no other cars,” said police spokesman Rick Goodale. “These are well-travelled roads in the city of Gastonia.”
The boy said he was scared and drove in the middle of the road to avoid cars but stopped at traffic lights because he’d seen his mother do the same.
Police haven’t pressed charges but have referred the case to social services.