These days you can learn pretty much anything thanks to YouTube. Want to become an expert at Excel? YouTube. Want to learn how to do a fishtail braid? YouTube. Want to figure out the best way to make a chocolate soufflé? YouTube. One eight-year-old boy from East Palestine, Ohio, apparently knew how wonderfully helpful YouTube can be after he learned how to drive watching a video.
Around 8 p.m. on Sunday, the boy took his 4-year-old sister for a joyride after learning how to drive online. He wanted a cheeseburger and decided that a trip to McDonald’s would be a good idea while his parents napped. Several witnesses saw the boy driving through town and called the police. When he pulled into the drive-through at the restaurant to place his order, the McDonald’s employees thought he was part of a prank. But he wasn’t. He was just a determined little kid who, as it turns out, obeyed all traffic laws while on the road.
Patrolman Jacob Koehler spoke to the Weirton Daily Times:
“I think there is a good teaching point here. With the way technology is anymore kids will learn how to do anything and everything. This kid learned how to drive on YouTube. He probably looked it up for five minutes and then said it was time to go,” he added.
He went on to say that he was impressed with the boy’s driving abilities, and that when he first received the call he was prepared to receive other calls from people reporting damage to their mailboxes or garbage bins from a wayward vehicle.
“He didn’t hit a single thing on the way there. It was unreal,” he said.
The boy drove about a mile and a half from his home to the restaurant shortly after 8 p.m.
The boy told Koehler that he had never driven before, but had learned by watching the videos.
He also said that he was able to get the keys to his father’s locked van by standing up on his tip-toes to get to where they were hanging.
Thankfully no one was hurt. The police made a point to share that the children in this situation were not neglected in any way. Their parents picked them up at the station later that evening and no charges have been filed.