Girl, 6, Dies When Brother, 8, Crashes Car

Phoenix kids stole mom's vehicle after bedtime

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 30, 2013 8:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – An awful story out of Phoenix: Two young children stole their mother's car Wednesday night and took it on a joyride that ended in a deadly crash. The 8-year-old driver received only minor injuries but his 6-year-old sister was killed, NBC News reports. She wasn't wearing a seat belt. The Phoenix siblings had been put to bed at 9:30pm, but their grandmother, who happened to drive by the house a short time later, noticed the door was open and woke their mother, CNN reports. Both the kids and the car were missing. Thinking the children had been kidnapped, their mother called the police around 10:25pm. Instead, the kids, whose names haven't been released, were driving around town.

Witnesses said the boy was stopping at red lights; other drivers called police to say a car had hit a fence and kept moving. They boy's head hardly rose past the dashboard, notes one witness. "They were swerving into and out of traffic ... the headlights weren't on, the windshield wipers were going crazy, so I knew they couldn't see too good." The police began following the children, thinking they were kidnapping victims. When police tried to pull them over, the boy "veers to the right, collides with a pole," a police officer says. "It's a tragic story, all the way round." And he adds an especially sad detail: The children may have been headed home when the crash occurred; their home was "about a block or so" from the crash site.

A makeshift memorial on a tree is shown, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, in Phoenix, where the crash occurred.   (AP Photo/Matt York)
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