VAN heading home from day camp commandeered, crashed by 11-year-old passenger

Thursday, July 12th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) _ An 11-year-old boy wrecked a van bringing children home from day camp after taking the wheel when the driver stepped outside.

The boy drove nearly two miles before colliding with another car in this Cleveland suburb Wednesday afternoon. The boy suffered minor injuries, and people in the other car were unhurt.

Police Lt. David Novinc said the boy, whose name was withheld, hopped out of the Dodge van after the crash and ran toward his nearby home. He was caught by police, and then was treated for his injuries and released.

Novinc said the van apparently was returning from a day camp for troubled children. The driver got out to settle a dispute among passengers when the boy jumped behind the wheel and drove off.

Novinc said the boy apparently knew what he was doing, to a certain degree, behind the wheel.