A mother in upstate New York awoke to find her 8-year-old son and her car missing. Panicked and thinking he had been kidnapped, she dialed 911.
To her surprise, police had already been summoned; not because anything nefarious had happened to Andrew Letts. The child had taken the keys to his mom's car, and driven down the street before jumping a curb and crashing into a neighbor's fence.
The incident occurred shortly after 6 a.m. on Monday morning in Cheektowaga. According to witnesses and police interviews with the boy, he had driven approximately a half-mile from the family home before thinking better of his plan and turning around.
Questioned by police, the boy told investigators he "wanted to be like my mom," according to WKBW-TV.
And that's when Letts took a turn for the worse. His car jumped a curb, ran over a stop sign and struck a fire hydrant before it mashed a neighbor's fence and came to rest on a neighbor's lawn. The town's police chief said that Letts will not be charged with anything because of his age. His mother's insurance company will likely pay for damages.
Safe to say that Andrew is getting a stern talking-to by his Mother and the police. There is some technology becoming more widely available in new cars that might have kept young Andrew safe from hitting fences and stop signs--collision avoidance systems. Check out our Techsplanations video here about how these systems work, and read about some of the cars that are offering the feature.