You might think you’re a good driver. But you’ve got nothing on a nameless 8-year-old from Ohio. This past weekend he and his 4-year-old sister waited for their parents to fall asleep, stole their car, and then drove to McDonald’s to chow down on some McMeats.
The future is looking bright.
Officer Jacob Koehler said the child drove a mile from his home with his little sister in the back of the van. The journey took the 8-year-old through 4 intersections, over railroad tracks and also required him to make a few right hand turns and a left hand turn.
Witnesses told police he did obey all traffic laws and drove the speed limit.
Witnesses who saw the pipsqueak behind the wheel called the cops, and a family friend noticed the kids at the restaurant and called their grandparents. By the time authorities arrived, the children had already rolled through the drive-through to order their food — a burger, nuggets and fries according to The Weirton Daily Times — which the boy paid for with money from his piggy bank.
I can only speculate how this kid managed to look over the steering wheel, but he apparently looked old enough if the drive-through counter still served him. Koehler told the newspaper that the drive-through worker assumed the parents were in the back. They were not.
What was most impressive was how he learned to drive: He told the cops he learned by watching YouTube videos.
The learn-to-drive YouTube videos I found are weird. Most are at least a few minutes long, and are pretty clearly catered to someone whose parents haven’t been fulfilling one of their core parental duties. Or someone who is eight.
There are a few possibilities, then, about when this kid learned to drive. Maybe he watched the video right before heading out and tested his skills out the first time he hit the road. Maybe he’d premeditated the jaunt. Or maybe he’d been practicing for a long time beforehand. Koehler assumed that the kid had just turned the video on a few minutes before and decided, well, time to go get that McD’s.
“I think there is a good teaching point here,” Koehler told The Weirton Daily Times. “With the way technology is anymore kids will learn how to do anything and everything. This kid learned how to drive on YouTube. He probably looked it up for five minutes and then said it was time to go.”
By the way, another child was spotted driving a car full of children and a goat this past week in New Zealand. So this may just be a pattern.
I’ve reached out to the East Palestine Police Department and will update the post if I hear back. Bless this sweet hero child.