Society

Boy, 8, Drives Car To McDonald's And Credits YouTube

| by Denise Recalde

An 8-year-old Ohio boy hankering for a cheeseburger drove himself and his 4-year-old sister to the local McDonald's on April 9 after watching YouTube videos on how to drive. 

According to the Weirton Daily Times, police officers found the boy and his sister at the East Palestine, Ohio, McDonald's around 8 p.m. on April 9 in response to several calls from witnesses who spotted the young boy behind the wheel of a vehicle. 

The boy saw his opportunity after his father went to bed early after work and his mother fell asleep on the couch with the kids, the authorities said, WJW reports. 

Driving his father's van with his sister in the back, the 8-year-old reportedly didn't break any traffic laws during the mile-and-a-half road trip and drove "effortlessly" through the streets of downtown, East Palestine Patrolman Jacob Koehler said. 

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He went through four intersections, crossed railroad tracks and made a few right-hand turns and one left-hand turn.

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

Once at the McDonald's, a family friend who was eating at the restaurant saw the two kids and called the children's grandparents, who later picked them up. The kids were able to eat their cheeseburgers before both the police and their grandparents arrived. 

The 8-year-old purchased the food with money from his piggy bank.

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According to The Independent, when the boy pulled up at the McDonald's drive-through, McDonald's workers assumed they were being pranked. 

"The [fast food] workers thought that the parents were in the back, but obviously they weren't," Koehler said. 

Officer Koehler arrived at the fast food restaurant and talked to the little boy, who immediately burst into tears upon realizing he had done something wrong. As he cried, he explained to the officer that he had a real craving for a cheeseburger. 

He also confessed to having learned how to drive by watching YouTube videos. 

"I think there is a good teaching point here. With the way technology is any more kids will learn how to do anything and everything," Koehler told the Times. "This kid learned how to drive on YouTube. He probably looked it up for five minutes and then said it was time to go."

The case is still under investigation, although the police have decided not to press charges.

Sources: Weirton Daily Times, WJW, The Independent / Photo credit:  Eduardo P/Wikimedia Commons

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