MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WDTN) – A 7-year-old boy took to the open road in a ride that ended in a collision with another car.
Daniel Wittenbach got up while his parents were still asleep and decided to take himself on an adventure, WLWT reports. His goal? A Speedway slushy.
He woke up early, before 8:30 a.m., took his parents’ keys and set off. he had to use a chair to reach them, he said.
A dash camera inside the car shows the boy climbing into the SUV, starting it, and adjusting the settings before driving away, music blaring.
According to WLWT, 911 started getting calls about 8:30 that morning talking about the child driving dangerously on the roads.
“There was a boy driving the wrong way, a small child in a red Kia,” one caller told emergency dispatchers.
“He just crashed into another vehicle,” another reported.
David continued driving, feet barely reaching the pedals. He could be seen dodging in and around traffic on Roosevelt Boulevard. He then crossed the median and drove the wrong way, which is where his joyride ended.
The 7-year-old finally crashed the SUV into a Jeep. Fortunately, the driver escaped the jeep before it was hit. Daniel said he thought “the car was driving by itself.”
When police arrived at the boy’s home, Brian and Alesha Wittenbach were still asleep.
“My wife and I are not bad parents, and I’m sure people are going to label us like that. It could happen to anyone,” Brian Wittenbach said.
The family said they appreciate all the strangers who jumped into action to try to stop their car and save their son.
“It scared the (heck) out of me, and I’m just thankful that he’s alive,” Brian Wittenbach said.
Later, they asked the boy where he was trying to go.
“His only response was, ‘I just wanted a slushie from Speedway,'” Daniel’s dad Brian Wittenbach said. “He was definitely scared. He didn’t understand that people were trying to help and trying to stop the vehicle.”
Daniel was taken to the hospital and observed for a few hours before he was released.
Butler County Children’s Services is investigating the incident.