KINGSVILLE, Mo. – Heather Young, 32, was arrested and charged with four felony counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child after police Missouri Highway Patrol said Young allowed her 10-year-old son to drive a car that he later crashed.
“It boggles my mind that somebody would say that it would be okay for that person to drive especially if there are other minors in the car,” Sgt. Bill Lowe, of Missouri Highway Patrol, said.
Troopers said Young let the 10-year-old behind the wheel of the car while three younger children, all under the age of 5, were in the backseat. The car began to spin, went off the road and into an embankment. A four-year-old passenger was injured and taken to the hospital.
“When you hear a call like that come to you, you kind of have a `can you repeat that` type of mentality. Because it is something that we don`t see quite that often,” Sgt. Lowe said. “It could have killed every occupant in there, it could have killed another motorist, there`s all kinds of worst case scenarios that could have happened. Thankfully everybody survived the crash. Unfortunately this happened."
Neighbor Ed Brown recalls seeing first responders just up the road from his Buffalo Farm the day of the crash but had no idea that a child was at the wheel.
“This is a farming community, you have young kids driving you know 14 or 15 driving tractors or something like that but a 10 year old driving a car…” he said.
Brown is grateful the children escaped serious injury and avoided a nearby lake not far from where the car crashed.
“I mean heck there`s a lake right over the hill there, they could have run off in and drowned a bunch of kids,” Brown said.
It’s a situation that Troopers hope they do not have to respond anytime soon.
“It’s inconceivable to me that somebody would say it’s ok for somebody that young to operate a motor vehicle. There’s no reason, no excuse that somebody that young should be operating a vehicle,” Sgt. Lowe said.
According to court records, Young has pleaded guilty to another felony. Back in September she was charged with possession of a controlled substance.