6-year-old took car after missing bus

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HEATHSVILLE, Va., Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Authorities in Virginia said a 6-year-old boy who missed his school bus drove his mother's car for more than 10 miles and crashed into a utility pole.

Northumberland County Sheriff Chuck Wilkins said no one was injured by the boy's high speed 10.4 mile drive -- he passed several cars in the left lane -- but his parents were arrested and charged with felony child endangerment, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.


The boy's father, David Dodson, 40, was under a court order not to leave the boy and his 4-year-old brother alone with their mother, Jacqulyn Waltman, 26, but he had gone to work and left the boys alone with their sleeping mother prior to the Monday morning incident, Wilkins said.

Sgt. Thomas Cunningham Jr. of the Virginia State Police said Waltman's Ford Taurus was severely damaged and possibly totaled by the impact with the utility pole near the boy's school.

Northumberland deputies Jeff VanLandingham and Roger Briney, who were the first to arrive at the scene of the crash, said the boy told them he had taken his mother's car because he missed the school bus. Wilkins said the boy told authorities he had learned to drive from playing video games. Even after the accident, the boy tried to walk away from police and get to school.


Officials said the boy and his brother have been placed in foster care.

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