Cheeseburger-craving 8-year-old drives father's van to McDonald's

By Daniel Uria   |   April 13, 2017 at 11:20 AM
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April 13 (UPI) -- An 8-year-old boy in Ohio took his father's van for a joyride to McDonald's after watching YouTube driving tutorials.

The boy pulled up to the drive-through window of the fast food location in East Palestine with his 4-year-old sister in the passenger seat at about 8 p.m. while his parents slept at home about a half a mile away.

"The workers thought that the parents were in the back, but obviously they weren't," East Palestine Police Officer Jacob Koehler said.

He told officers who arrived at the scene that he looked up how to drive online because he wanted to get himself a cheeseburger.

"He looked up videos on YouTube on how to drive," Koehler told WFMJ.

The boy got up on his tip-toes to collect his father's keys, before making his way to McDonald's armed with money from his piggy bank.

Witnesses said the young boy effortlessly navigated his way to the restaurant, obeying all traffic laws such as stopping at red lights and waiting for traffic to pass before turning along the way.

Koehler said he expected to receive calls about damaged lamp posts and mail boxes, but was impressed to find the boy made it to his destination without incident.

"He didn't hit a single thing on the way there. It was unreal," he said.

The apologetic boy and his sister were ultimately allowed to enjoy their meals while they waited for their grandparents to pick them up.

"A friend of the family saw what was going on and called the grandparents," Koehler said.

Koehler added the incident would not be considered a case of neglect as both children had been adequately fed, but noted it could serve as a valuable lesson for parents.

"I think there is a good teaching point here. 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," he said.

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