4-Year-Old Commandeers Family SUV

The youngster was lucky, and so were some nearby fraternity members, according to police

A 4-year-old somehow got behind the wheel of his mom's SUV and went on a wild ride Thursday in Fullerton.

The SUV struck a hydrant, a fence and a tree.

"We just heard the impact and then we just started running over there," said Edgar Guzman. "I didn't know at the time who was driving."


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Guzman happened to be working on the grounds of a nearby pre-school, where the youngster is enrolled.

"We were in shock," said Guzman. "We saw the little boy inside. Nobody else was in the car. That was a shock to us."

Right before the 4-year-old went on his wild ride, his mother had parked in the lot at nearby Summit House Restaurant, to answer a cell phone call, said police.

"She got out of her car and while she was out of her car, her 4-year-old child somehow got to be in the driver's seat and the car started moving," said Sgt. Andrew Goodrich of the Fullerton Police Department.

The pre-schooler managed to go about half a mile down State College Boulevard. The boy sideswiped one car, hit some trees and then hit a fraternity house fence. 

P.J. Swartz said he was sitting at a picnic table on the other side of the fence.

"I'm lucky to be alive," said Swartz. "Thank goodness for a tree."

Swartz and Guzman immediately took the child out of the SUV.

"He just had a big bruise on his chest and he was bleeding from the nose and mouth," said Guzman. "Other than that, he was fine."

The child, who is expected to recover, was not restrained, said police. Airbags may have minimized his injuries, said police.

Investigators have not ruled out filing some type of charge against the youngster's mother. But right now, everyone is just glad nobody was killed or seriously injured.

Guzman said he'll never forget what a firefighter asked the boy.

"The fire guy asked him, 'are you going to drive again?' He said no. That's all he said. He was in shock. He was really scared. He was crying," Guzman said.

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