6-year-old misses bus, takes family car

January 7, 2009 5:18:59 AM PST
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."


Load Comments