What you were thinking, or not thinking, at the time? Were there any consequences of your actions?
The driver of the SUV swerved on the freeway at about 32 miles per hour when a trooper for the Utah Highway Patrol spotted and pulled him over.
The trooper could not see a head above the seat’s headrest, and thought the driver might have been impaired.
But when he approached the driver’s side window on Monday, the trooper was surprised by what he saw: a young boy wearing a gray Utah Royals soccer hoodie.
“You’re 5 years old. Wow!” the trooper, Rick Morgan, said in the dash camera video of the traffic stop. He then asked him, “OK, where did you learn how to drive a car?”
The boy, who was not identified, had managed to drive about two to three miles from his home before he was pulled over in the southbound lane of Interstate 15 in Ogden, a city about 38 miles north of Salt Lake City, according to the authorities.
The Highway Patrol shared video and details of the episode on social media, where it quickly gained attention. Like the trooper, people wondered: How did the boy manage to get so far without injury or damage to the vehicle? Where was he trying to go? And where did he learn to drive?
During a news conference Monday, Trooper Morgan said that “when the window came down, I wasn’t quite sure what to think.”
“It absolutely was not what I was expecting when I saw the driver,” he added.
He said the boy was sitting on the front edge of the seat “so that he could reach the brake pedal.” It was not clear how well he could see through the windshield. The trooper helped the child to put the car into park position and to shut it down.
At first, he thought the boy appeared to be 8 or 9 years old.
“But he insisted he was 5, and his family confirmed he’s 5 years old and he will be 6 next month,” Trooper Morgan said.
The boy, who gave short or one-word answers, was on the verge of tears during the stop, the trooper said. The boy explained that he left home after an argument with his mother, according to the Highway Patrol.
“She told him she would not buy him a Lamborghini,” the Highway Patrol said in a tweet. “He decided to take the car and go to California to buy one himself.”
Trooper Morgan said that the boy probably realized something was wrong with the situation, though he might not have understood it completely. “I do think he’s probably had a life lesson,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll see him in the situation again soon.”