BLAINE, Minn. (FOX 9) - A four-year-old boy craving candy was somehow able to hop into his great-grandfather’s vehicle and make a mile-and-a-half trek to a Speedway in Blaine, Minnesota.
Wednesday, police and family recounted how the young boy was able to make the trip during rush hour along University Avenue.
The boy, Sebastian, seemed to know everything about his great-grandfather’s Hyundai Santa Fe.
Tuesday morning, about 8:30, Sebastian put a real scare into his family when he took off in the SUV.
“Panic, anxiety,” recalled Jenna Swenson, Sebastian’s mother. “A little of almost all the emotions going on...trying to calculate what happened.”
Sebastian demonstrated how he pulled it off: Using great grandpa Roy’s walker to grab the keys from wall hooks, and, when no one was watching, he bounded into the driver’s seat and took off.
“He watches everything people do and he’ll repeat it,” explained Roy Becker, great grandfather.
From great-grandpa’s house, Sebastian stretched his tiny body, his eyes barely able to see above the steering wheel, and took off. He backed out of the driveway, heading through some winding neighborhood streets, before turning left onto incredibly busy, four-lane University Avenue at the heart of the morning rush.
From there, witnesses report he drove erratically along University at speeds in the 10-15 mph range before getting the Santa Fe safely into the gas station parking lot where police quickly met him.
“I’ve never seen a driver this young before operating a vehicle,” said Capt. Mark Boerboom with the Blaine Police Department.
And while Sebastian navigated his candy store run, there were some bumps in the road, including mailboxes. He also dinged a tree.
In fact, we found a portion of the vehicle’s bumper at the neighbor's house. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured in Sebastian’s remarkable ride. But, there are also some serious lessons for him and his family, including plans to lock up the keys going forward and to keep a closer eye on the youngster.
“It could’ve been very serious,” Becker said. “He could’ve hit a car. He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. We could be talking about a funeral.”