Police Release Body Cam Video From Crash With 9-Year-Old Driver
WEST VALLEY CITY — West Valley City Police released a portion of the body camera footage recorded after a 9-year-old driver was involved in a crash with a semi-truck near state Route 201 Wednesday morning.
The video came from one of the responding officers as he walked up to the car with the young sisters inside.
As the officer approached, he looked inside and he said, “She’s driving?”
Lt. Bill Merritt with the West Valley City Police Department said the girl and her 4-year-old sister drove from West Jordan to the intersection of 3200 West and the 2100 South Frontage Road. They drove for ten miles before the crash.
The semi-truck driver called police after noticing the car driving erratically when it sideswiped another vehicle. The car then took off, and Merritt said the semi driver thought it was an impaired driver.
Officers got quite a surprise when they responded to an accident this morning & discovered the driver was a 9yo girl. The young girl & her 4yo sister apparently snagged the keys to the family car while their parents were sleeping & set out on their own summer adventure. #wvc pic.twitter.com/evHq3DiBRC
— WVC Police (@WVCPD) June 2, 2021
“He followed that car and then that driver ended up pulling into him as well,” Merritt said. “Both of their vehicles were disabled and he discovered that the driver of the other vehicle was not impaired but was a 9-year-old female driving with her 4-year-old sister. They were planning to go to California.”
Police added the girls said they wanted to swim with dolphins in the ocean.
West Jordan Police Detective Scott List says the girls’ parents told him that the car keys were kept out of their reach and all the doors in the home had a child safety lock but one.
“In talking to the parents, the kids have not been taught at all to drive. In fact, I believe it was even said that the kids have never even sat in the front seat.”
No injuries were reported and Merritt said both girls were wearing their seat belts.
“Had they not been wearing seat belts, it would have been pretty bad because both vehicles were pretty (crunched),” Merritt said.
Both girls were later picked up by their parents, who were relieved and grateful everyone was okay.
“This is a very unusual thing that I don’t think could be predicted by the parents,” List said. “This Is a girl to watch. When she’s motivated she figures out a way. So it will be interesting to see what her future is like.”