Utah state patrolmen were stunned to find a 5-year-old boy behind the wheel of his family’s vehicle on a busy interstate during a routine traffic stop on Monday.
The child, who admitted he stole his parents’ car keys, was “determined” to “purchase a Lamborghini,” authorities said — confessing he was on his way to California to buy his own Italian sports car after his mother refused to get him one.
Troopers first spotted the “very young boy” slowly weaving between lanes in a gray SUV around 11:45 a.m. near Ogden, Utah on Monday. The child was clocked at 32 miles per hour, investigators said.
Utah Highway Patrol first suspected the driver was either intoxicated or having a medical emergency, officials said in a statement. They then pulled over the car to find the youngster at the wheel.
“How old are you?” Trooper Rick Morgan can be heard asking the child in a dashboard camera video of the traffic stop obtained by Oxygen.com.
“You’re 5 years old — wow,” the baffled trooper exclaimed. “Where did you learn how to drive a car?”
The child told authorities he had stolen the vehicle’s keys following a dispute with his mother.
“His story is that he left home after an argument with Mom, in which she told him she would not buy him a Lamborghini,” the Utah Highway Patrol stated. “He decided he'd take the car and go to California to buy one himself.”
However, troopers discovered he only had a few bucks to his name.
“He might have been short on the purchase amount, as he only had $3 dollars in his wallet,” the statement added.
The 5-year-old drove approximately two or three miles before he was intercepted by highway patrol, authorities said.
“I think this young man realized he was in a little bit over his head pretty quickly,” Sgt. Nick Street told Oxygen.com.
The highway patrol spokesman said it was a “miracle” the 5-year-old was unscathed in the incident.
“As much as it seems entertaining to talk about, we are so fortunate that the young man wasn’t hurt, that other people weren’t hurt, that property wasn’t damaged,” Street said. “The odds and the risk was so high.”
The startled boy appeared to be “ashamed” and “sad” during the traffic stop, investigators said. It’s not clear how the child learned to drive. Oxygen.com has withheld the name of the child for privacy reasons.
“As a 5-year-old kid, you don’t want to have a run-in out in public, all by yourself, with a police officer … on a fairly busy interstate,” Street said. “Anybody trying to recreate this scenario is going to find out the hard way that you’re going to get yourself into trouble, there will be liability for those you love, and you can potentially get hurt.”
Street, 41, who spent years patrolling Utah’s interstates, described the incident as one of the most bizarre traffic stops he’s come across in his career.
“In my time working the road, I can count on one hand the 12, 13, and 14-year-old drivers I encountered but never in my wildest dreams would have thought that a trooper would ever stop a 5-year-old driver … determined to go to California to purchase a Lamborghini,” he said. “[It’s] just crazy.”
The boy won’t face charges related to the alleged joyride.
“That’s up to mom and dad how they want to discipline,” Street added.
The boy’s parents could face child neglect charges, however. Weber County prosecutors are currently reviewing charges in the case, authorities said. The family has since voiced their regret regarding the incident.
“Oh, I lost it, something bad could have happened to him,” the child's sister told local television station KUTV. “How does a little 5-year-old, 11 years younger than me, do it and I can’t?"
The family said they've since been flooded with messages of support from Italian sports car fanatics. One generous Lamborghini owner reportedly even took the 5-year-old for a spin in his luxury coupe, relatives said.
“The police told me I drive good,” the young driver also told KUTV.
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