8-year-old drives from St. Paul to Mounds View with 2 pajama-clad siblings

An 8-year-old boy took to the open road early Tuesday morning, navigating his way from St. Paul to Mounds View in a Buick Roadmaster with his two young siblings in tow. All three of them were still in their pajamas.

Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Tiffani Nielsen said they received several complaints of a vehicle swerving northbound near I-35E and Highway 36, the first call coming in at 5:56 a.m. One witness said the sedan appeared to be going about 40 miles per hour, and had pulled out in front of him in the left lane. He said initially, he thought the driver was drunk, but upon pulling alongside the vehicle, he was shocked to see a young boy driving, barely able to see over the steering wheel.

Another witness, Eric Brown, said he knew something wasn't right, so he called 911 and followed the swerving Buick for several miles. The sedan had traveled north on I-35E, west on Highway 36, and north on I-35W to County Road 10. A state trooper finally located the Buick in a random Mounds View, Minn. driveway in the 5100 block of East Wood Road around 6:20 a.m.

The 8-year-old boy was behind the wheel with a 5-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy, all from the same foster family in St. Paul. The family reported the kids missing that morning at about the same time they arrived in Mounds View and confirmed the Buick is indeed theirs. The children's intended whereabouts were discussed with the state trooper, but that information isn't public record because they're minors.

"Incredible there were no injuries, but how can an 8-year-old physically control a vehicle reach the pedals, see over the dash? In my career as a trooper, I've never heard of an 8-year-old controlling a vehicle, and if they did, making it this far," Lt. Nielsen said.

The Ramsey County sheriff's office and St. Paul police are investigating.
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