‘What in the world’: UHP troopers surprised by 12-year-old driver after police chase

Mar 19, 2024, 6:10 PM | Updated: 9:58 pm

NORTH SALT LAKE — Utah Highway Patrol troopers were quite shocked when they discovered who was driving a car they were trying to pull over. Turns out it was a 12-year-old girl behind the wheel and KSL TV has now obtained the 911 call from a semitruck driver that alerted police to the erratic driver.

“I believe I’ve got a drunk driver in front of my semitruck,” the driver said to the 911 dispatcher. “We are currently going about 50 miles an hour and they are just swerving back and forth. Their headlights are not on.”

She was traveling southbound along Interstate 15 in North Salt Lake. The call came in just before midnight on Thursday, March 8.

“Woah! Oh!,” the driver yelled, still on the phone. “Don’t hit that barrier!”

Troopers caught up with the car at approximately 3300 South. They had no idea at the time that the driver was so young.

“(The) driving pattern definitely told us something significant was happening,” Lt. Jalain Hawkes with UHP said.

The girl refused to pull over. When the trooper pulled up beside her “she kind of swerved into him almost side-swiping him,” Hawkes said.

Troopers eventually performed a pit maneuver near 10600 South, which caused the car to spin and come to a stop.

“When [the trooper] came up to her window there was really no reaction from her. She was kind of frozen and wouldn’t open the window. The door was locked. At that point he did end up breaking the window just to be able to safely ensure that the vehicle couldn’t drive anymore,” she said.

The trooper still had no idea of her age.

“As he conversed with her and asked her questions her voice was very childlike and he started to think, ‘There is something a little bit (off),’ and that’s when they decided to ask her, ‘What is your birth date,'” Hawkes said. “When she gave her birth date they were all just like, ‘Oh, what in the world is going on,’”

The girl was taken into custody and then home to her mom. Investigators said it appears there was some family dispute and the girl decided to run off with her mother’s car. She does face possible charges but because of her age, investigators are still trying to determine what kind of punishment would be helpful to the girl.

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‘What in the world’: UHP troopers surprised by 12-year-old driver after police chase