May 17, 2022

West Valley City Police officers were in for a surprise when they responded to an early morning traffic accident in Utah on Wednesday between a car and a semi-truck. The driver of the car and passenger were young children.

Body camera video captured the police officers’ surprise upon seeing a 9-year-old was behind the wheel of the car that crashed into the semi-truck. 

“It’s crazy! She’s driving? Unreal,” one officer can be heard saying to another officer who had been talking to the young children.

The sisters, 9 and 4-year-olds, told the police they are headed to California to take a beach vacation because they wanted to swim in the ocean.

West Jordan is about a 700-mile drive to a California beach.

“The young girl and her 4-year-old sister apparently snagged the keys to the family car while their parents were sleeping,” said West Valley City Police Department in a statement.

“The girls drove about 10 miles from their home in West Jordan and managed to get on a highway and a freeway approaching West Valley City. Before exiting the freeway, the car hopped a median and slammed head-on into a semi-truck,” the Department added.

West Valley City police released a video clip from an officer’s body-worn camera taken from the crash scene. It detailed the crushed front end of the red sedan, wedged against a semi-truck, which appeared to have been pulling two trailers.

Neither of the girls or the driver of the truck was injured in the collision. 

“We suspect in large part because those little girls at least remembered to wear their seatbelts,” said the West Valley City Police Department.

The girls’ parents were asleep when the two took the keys early Wednesday morning and drove about 10 miles from their home. The parents were shocked when the police informed them about the crash.

Detective List of West Valley City Police said parents were “horrified and shocked, they didn’t know that their kids were gone.” 

“It doesn’t look like this is a neglect issue. It looks like this is something that could have happened to anybody. You’ve got some curious kids who were excited about swimming with dolphins in California and figured out how to drive the car,” List added.