Date: April 17, 2011
Location: Bristol Avenue near Fargo Street, Klamath Falls
Name: Unidentified Minor, Tammy J. Belau
Oregon State Police and the Department of Human Services Child Welfare Division are investigating a morning minor injury car crash in Oregon involving a 6-year-old driver.
An unidentified 6-year-old boy took his family’s 1996 Plymouth Voyager van from their apartment at about 7:15am and drove westbound on Bristol Avenue. The boy was the driver and lone occupant of the van. He crashed into several mailboxes before swerving into oncoming traffic and crashing headon with a 1992 Dodge Dakota pickup being driven by Tammy J. Belau, age 29 of Klamath Falls.
The boy was uninjured and wasn’t using safety restraints. He told police that he was hungry, had taken a roll of pennies from home and was driving the van to get some food.
Tammy J. Belau, seven months pregnant, is undergoing chiropractic treatment to realign her upper body after a vehicle being driven by a 6-year-old driver crashed into her.
Belau made a statement to local media sources that she was feeling stiff and sore, but that the baby was fine.
Belau had been on her way to church on Sunday April 17 when she says she noticed a driver behind her who had swerved onto a curb into mailboxes and then turned back into the street. Belau says she thought it was a drunk driver. She stopped her vehicle and honked her horn.
Belau said that the boy was only driving about 10 miles an hour, and that she had placed her seat belt below her belly because of her pregnancy.
Oregon State Police are still investigating the incident.
We are always surprised by stories of children who actually get behind the wheel of vehicles, start them up and drive them. Our auto accident attorneys in Portland are happy that this young boy was uninjured and that he didn’t cause more serious injuries or damage. Parents would be well-advised to keep their car keys out of reach of children.