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6-year-old takes family car after missing bus
16 hours ago

WICOMICO CHURCH, Va. (AP) — A 6-year-old Virginia boy who missed his bus tried to drive to school in his family's sedan — and crashed. His parents were charged with child endangerment. State police said the boy suffered only minor injuries and authorities drove him to school after he was evaluated at a local hospital for a bump on his head. He arrived shortly after lunch, Sgt. Tom Cunningham said.

It happened around 7:40 a.m. Monday on Route 360, about 61 miles east of Richmond.

The boy, whose name wasn't released, missed the bus, took the keys to his family's 2005 Ford Taurus and drove nearly six miles toward school while his mother was asleep, police said.

He made at least two 90-degree turns, passed several cars and ran off the rural two-lane road several times before hitting an embankment and utility pole about a mile and a half from school.

The boy told police he learned to drive playing Grand Theft Auto and Monster Truck Jam video games.

"He was very intent on getting to school," said Northumberland County Sheriff Chuck Wilkins. "When he got out of the car, he started walking to school. He did not want to miss breakfast and PE."

His parents, Jacqulyn Deana Waltman, 26, and David Eugene Dodson, 40, are each charged with child endangerment, Wilkins said. Waltman is being held without bond. Dodson was released on a $5,000 bond.

It was not clear if they had attorneys.

The boy and his 4-year-old brother were placed in protective custody.

"This really is a story of miracles," Wilkins said. "The Lord was with him, along with everybody else on the highway."
 

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Sgt. Thomas A. Cunningham Jr. of the Virginia State Police said the boy is not particularly tall for his age and was "possibly standing" while driving the Taurus. Wilkins said the child had an idea about how to start, propel and steer the car from playing video games.


Once he got going, the boy navigated his way along Route 200 (Dupont Highway), across a bridge spanning the Great Wicomico River and then turned west on Northumberland Highway, which is about 140 miles from Washington. He made it through two intersections, Wilkins said, and then was "doing a pretty great rate of speed" as he passed cars on the two-lane road while not wearing a seat belt.

Other drivers noticed. Two people called the sheriff's office, one called the state police and at least one motorist "shouted at him to get off the road when he came to an intersection," Cunningham said.

The boy had gone 10.4 miles, the sheriff said, and was about a mile and a half from his school in Heathsville when he decided to cross the double line and pass again. But this time, he saw a tractor-trailer coming toward him in the other lane.

He quickly whipped the car back into his lane, but, unlike in video games, the car swerved out of control, skidded into an embankment and then struck a utility pole on the rear passenger side. Wilkins said the force of the impact cracked a wooden beam on top of the utility pole. The Taurus was severely damaged, if not totaled, Cunningham said.

Northumberland deputies Jeff VanLandingham and Roger Briney arrived first. "He was crying, hysterical," Briney said, "not from any pain -- he was just adrenalined up on fright." Briney said another motorist said she was driving 60 mph when the boy zoomed past her.

Briney said he unzipped the boy's coat to check for injuries, found none and zipped it back up -- and the boy turned and walked away. "I said, 'Where are you going?' " Briney said. "He said: 'My school's right over there. I'm late.' I said, 'We'll get you to school.' "

"He was just bound and determined," Wilkins said, "he did not want to miss breakfast and PE." The meal "may have been his primary goal," the sheriff said. The sheriff said the boy told him that he had trained on video games such as Grand Theft Auto and Monster Truck Jam.

The boy was taken to Rappahannock General Hospital, was released and was back in school for PE that afternoon. He was not identified because he is, well, 6. The boy and his brother were placed in foster care; his mother was in jail, officials said.

"We were just very blessed that it ended the way it did," said Theresa Larsen, assistant principal at the boy's school. Larsen said the school's principal, Arnette Butler, asked the boy, "What were you thinking?" He looked up and told her, "I just had to get to school."
 

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That's what's up, video games are a helluva learning tool. Too bad they are going to get blamed for this, and not the parents, or the kid for that matter lmao.
 

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i read 4-5 stories about this..

I think the parents were sleeping and he woke up, ate breakfast.. missed the bus and drove to school
 

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Im amazed the kid wanted to go to school that bad. he must have

-been afraid of his parents

-wanted to get some at school, lol
 

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if i recall at 6 years old i believe my parents were still getting me up for school. He obvioulsy is just let loose a lot and prolly not monitored. Growing up i knew better than to do something that retarded. Kid must've not knew right from wrong. You are taught a young age to not even cross the road alone, let alone drive a car on it. lol So that tells me his parents prolly didnt care what he did.
 

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The boy told police he learned to drive playing Grand Theft Auto and Monster Truck Jam video games.
I just bought my 7yr old nephew monster truck jam for his ds :)

nikos said:
He quickly whipped the car back into his lane, but, unlike in video games, the car swerved out of control, skidded into an embankment and then struck a utility pole on the rear passenger side. Wilkins said the force of the impact cracked a wooden beam on top of the utility pole. The Taurus was severely damaged, if not totaled, Cunningham said.
This is why you make kids play forza instead of need for speed...
 

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im not going to get my kid any toys if im gona grt blamed for what he does because he plays with them. little determined kid with an imagination, u cant bottle that shit
 
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