Five-Year-Old Boy Takes His Stepdad's Car For A Four-Mile Drive

19/03/2010 14:18 | Updated 22 May 2015

A little boy has made headlines by taking his stepfather's 4x4 and driving it for more than four miles before crashing it into a wall.

Miraculously Thomas Chatfield, from Tangmere, West Sussex, was not injured in the incident.

He had driven the Mitsubishi Shogun along country roads and even a dual carriageway before it crashed.

Dozens of astonished motorists phoned the police after seeing the car driving erratically at low speeds - with just the top of the boy's head showing through the windscreen.

Neighbours reported hearing loud revving noises just after 6am on Thursday. They watched, horrified, as the car was driven out of the family's driveway by the little boy.

The boy's mother has not made any comment so far although a relative told the Daily Telegraph the family were shocked. Well, you would be, wouldn't you?

"It's not very often that you hear about a five-year-old boy going on a joyride," the relative said.

"What they were worried about was whether he had hurt himself or anybody else."

Thomas drove along a dual carriageway section of the A27 and then turned onto the A285, then down a country road before hitting the wall of a house.

He was taken to hospital but was not hurt.

It's not clear how he managed to take the car in the first place although many Shogun models start with the press of a button. The car was an automatic and could be driven at low speeds in drive mode so he would not have needed to use the pedals.

Apparently Thomas had taken the car keys from his mother's handbag.

One neighbour told the Telegraph that the boy's mother was "utterly shocked" by what had happened.

"She is relieved that he's OK," said the neighbour. "He often travels in the car with his mum and has seen how she presses the button down to put the car into reverse.

"Thomas is obviously a clever boy who has learnt to drive by watching his mum."

A spokesman for West Sussex police said that for a five-year-old, Thomas had driven "quite well". He said it was a "bizarre case" and no action was being taken against anyone.

I'm sure most five-year-old boys would love to get behind the wheel of a car. But surely it shouldn't be this easy?

Source: Daily Telegraph

Suggest a correction