Utah sisters aged 9 and 4 crashed the family car that they stole because they wanted to ‘swim with dolphins’ in California

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Scene of the accident. @WVCPD/Twitter
  • Two sisters aged nine and four stole their parents’ car are tried to drive from Utah to California.
  • The sisters drove for 16km before colliding with a car and then crashing into a truck.
  • Authorities said the sisters said they wanted to go to the beach and swim with dolphins.
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Two young girls stole their parents’ car so that they could drive from Utah to California, a distance of over 1,127km, to go to the beach and “swim with dolphins,” authorities said.

The two sisters, aged nine and four, took the keys to their parents’ Chevrolet Malibu early on Wednesday morning and drove ten miles from West Jordan to West Valley City, including on Utah’s busy Route 201 expressway, before they collided with another vehicle and smashed into a lorry.

Both the girls were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, and airbags were deployed, ABC4 Utah reported. No one was harmed. Lt. Bill Merritt, of the West Valley City Police Department, told local TV station 2KUTV that the truck driver initially called authorities when he witnessed the girls’ car collide with another vehicle. He had thought the driver was impaired.

And when he followed the car, which subsequently collided with his truck, he was surprised to discover a 9-year-old girl behind the wheel. West Valley City Police Department posted footage from the accident on Twitter.

-WVC Police (@WVCPD) June 2, 2021

“They talked about going to California to swim with dolphins and go to the beach and they woke up at 3 in the morning,” Detective Scott List of West Jordan police said. “The parents were horrified and very shocked to find their kids were gone.”

He continued: “It doesn’t look like this is a neglect issue, it looks like this is something that could have happened to anybody. We’ve got some curious kids who were excited about swimming with dolphins in California and figured out how to drive the car”

The authorities said the parents had previously raised the idea of a trip to California, which might have inspired the girls.

Danielle LeBlanc, a school bus driver in Salt Lake County, whose daily route takes her through where the accident occurred, told ABC4 that she was shocked to find the two young girls.

“First thing I did was look for the parents,” LeBlanc said. “Then I saw the car and the whole front end was gone and I was like, ‘Oh no!’ And then I looked over again and I saw two little girls in the front seat.”

She continued: “I was pretty shocked. I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh – if my kids did that, holy cow, that’s insane.’ I don’t know what I would do or the emotions I would go through.”

It is unclear whether the two girls were driving at highway speeds, but later in a tweet, West Valley City PD wrote that even “Even the semi [truck] had to be towed!'”

-WVC Police (@WVCPD) June 2, 2021