6-Year-Old Girl Takes Mom’s Car On a ‘Joy Ride’ to Go See Dad

You know that heart-stopping moment when you realize you’ve lost track of your child? Now imagine that happened when you woke up in the morning, and your car is also missing. Panic attack, anyone? I bet that’s what one mom in Pittsburgh experienced when she couldn’t find her 6-year-old daughter on Sunday morning.

Thankfully this story has nothing to do with kidnapping, and no one, including the little girl, was hurt. It turns out that the small fry grabbed mom’s BMW keys and took a joy ride to go see her dad across town.


She hit two parked cars, and pushed one of them into a third, before hitting a utility pole. Her dad arrived to take her home, so I guess she accomplished her goal of getting to him. The police are baffled as to how she learned to drive -- Sgt. Jerry Parker said, “Your guess is as good as mine.”

Jack Jackson, the owner of one of the damaged vehicles, told reporters, “It’s the grace of God she didn’t get hurt ... it’s unbelievable.” It’s so awesome to see neighbors keeping things in perspective. Yes, it sucks that his car is damaged, but when compared to the safety of a child? I’d trade it in a heartbeat.

Mom called the police at 9:15 Sunday morning when she couldn’t find her daughter, and that’s when she found out about her little one’s crazy adventure. She will not face any charges, since this doesn’t appear to be an indication of neglect.

Losing track of your kids can happen to the best moms. One of my best friends is an awesome mom, but that didn’t stop her 2-year-old from unlocking the front door and taking a walk while she was in the shower a few weeks ago. She called the police, and thankfully a neighbor had found him wandering around three blocks away. Once the panic resided, she decided that now that she knows he can walk that far, he will be walking more instead of being carried. Her husband also installed latches at the tops of all the outside-doors in the house.

Kids are determined. Kids are smart. Kids don’t always understand why we have the rules we have. They get ideas in their heads like, “let’s explore!” or “I want to see my dad!” and they go with it. The police might not know how that chickadee learned to drive, but I can guess it was by watching grown-ups drive. You put the key in, you moved the stick thing, and you turn the steering wheel. If the car were in gear, she wouldn’t even have to reach the gas pedal -- it would just move forward. Easy peasy! Well, there is a certain amount of finesse required to not hit three cars and a pole, but I’m sure she’ll work on that before she gets her driver’s license.

Have you ever found your ‘lost’ child in a strange situation?

Image via debs/Flickr

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