The Sideshow

Mother lets 9-year-old boy drive car to school

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

Delaware resident Tammy S. Oneal was recently charged with reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child. Her offense? Letting her 9-year-old son drive her car to school.

Oneal didn't exactly help her case with her initial line of defense. She was confident her son would arrive at school safely, she explained, because he's an experienced driver: She's been letting him take the wheel of the family car ever since he was he was 5. "He was apparently bugging his mother to let him drive to school," said Dover police captain Tim Stump.

Witnesses say the boy pulled into the parking lot of W. Reily Brown Elementary in Dover with his mom in the passenger seat of her 1990 Toyota Corolla. The police report said "numerous children, parents, and school employees were present" when the car pulled in.

Oneal, 34, has since been released on $1,000 bail. "It was an absolutely irresponsible decision made by the parent to allow her 9-year-old to drive," said Stump, in a flourish of understatement. "Not only is she putting her son at danger, but everyone else as well. It was just a poor decision."

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