5-year-old Girl Drives to Find Mother, Calls 911

By: Glenn McEntyre Email
By: Glenn McEntyre Email

October 26, 2011

A miscommunication between two parents left a little Mansfield, Ohio girl home alone Tuesday. The situation went from bad to worse when the 5-year-old decided to hop in the family car to look for her mom.

The 911call came in just after seven last night.

"9-1-1. What's your emergency?" says the 911 operator.
"Um, my mom's car backed out on accident and I need the police to pull my mom's car back in," says the 5-year-old girl.

A frightened sounding 5-year-old tells the operator she's home alone and doesn't know where her mom is.

"It's really dark around here and I looked everywhere."
"When I got off the bus but my mom wasn't here And I miss her so much."
"It's all right honey, Mom's gonna come back. Mom probably went looking for you," the operator says.

Turns out, it was just the opposite.

"And she tried to drive the car to go find mom," says Ryan Grimshaw, a Mansfield Police Officer.

Officer Ryan Grimshaw responded to the house to find the mother's SUV rolled backward out of the driveway across the street and into a neighbor's yard.

"You could tell she just followed exactly probably what her mom does when she gets into the car. I mean she put the keys in the ignition, pulled it into drive and turned the headlights on like she was ready to drive just like a grownup," Grimshaw says.

Something the girl wasn't ready to confess to the operator.

"Did mom park her car across the street or did you get in the car and move it across the street?" the operator says.

"Um, somebody moved it across the street. The car is staying on running now. You gotta get here quick. My mom's gonna be pissed at me," the young girl says.

With the help of dispatchers, Grimshaw was able to reach the parents and sort out the confusion. The best possible outcome for a situation that could have ended very differently.

"She did the right thing by calling 911 but if she would have got home and called an aunt or a grandmother or anybody, it could have all been avoided pretty quickly," Grimshaw says.

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  • by April Location: Tallahassee on Nov 1, 2011 at 11:21 AM
    This little one melted my heart to pieces! Thank God things didn't get worse. I'm happy the story ended without her being harmed.
  • by Concerned MOM Location: Mass on Oct 28, 2011 at 07:14 PM
    My daughter got on the wrong bus twice in first grade the first time the principal told me that it was my problem and I needed to talk to her. How am I supposed to make sure my kid gets on the right bus when I'm at work THANK GOD my neighbor saw her get off and grabbed her. SHE decided she didn't want to go to day care. After that I insisted she was escorted to the bus but apparently they stopped becaused she did it again. I was told that after Kindergarten the child can get off the bus themselves and its up to them to get on the right bus. NEEDLESS to say she's now a pickup.
  • by trimom Location: Massachusetts on Oct 28, 2011 at 12:55 PM
    Why would you say someone isn't telling the truth about bus drivers not dropping off to an adult?! Mine does - in fact it is our school policy. Any child under 10 is NOT to be dropped off at their bus stop unless an adult is present to get them. An approved adult that the bus driver has met - parent or caregiver. If it is someone else, or there is no one there for the child, they are brought back to the school and emergency contact calls begin until someone on the approved pick up list is found to retrieve the child. No, the bus driver does not knock on doors - the adult needs to be at the bus stop.
  • by ANONYMOUS3 Location: West Virginia on Oct 28, 2011 at 11:48 AM
    My kids Bus driver makes sure someone is outside to get the my child, and if no one is outside, the child is returned to the school for them to notify my emergency list.
  • by myname Location: iowa on Oct 28, 2011 at 10:13 AM
    Okay, bus drivers do not check to see if the parents are home before they drop a child off. They can't. As a previous poster stated, what are they supposed to do, leave a bus full of kids & go knock on the door? No. I do not know the extent of the mother's emergency, but I would not rely on the fact that I left a message for my ex husband at his work that he was going to get it. I would have found someone I could actually talk to to make sure that an adult was able to be at the house. Again, I don't know the extent of the emergency. I thought that you had to have your foot on the brake of a vehicle to take it out of gear. Perhaps I am wrong. I am just glad that the girl is safe & no harm/no foul.
  • by Anonymous2 on Oct 27, 2011 at 07:49 PM
    Anonymous: that's an awful thing to say and proves we do still have racism in this country. just not as you assume.
  • by Angela Location: Tallahassee on Oct 27, 2011 at 12:57 PM
    That is one precocious child! I hope the parents get her a sitter, and maybe an agent. Why anyone would blame the bus driver in this situation is beyond me. Get a grip, people. Just be glad it turned out well (and kind of funny).
  • by Anonymous on Oct 27, 2011 at 11:25 AM
    The measure in which you judge, will be the measure in which you are judged!!!! You should be ashamed of yourself for calling the parents irresponsible, when you did not know the facts. Check the news and you will see her mother went to the hosipital that day!
  • by Anna on Oct 27, 2011 at 11:10 AM
    On the radio this morning they said the Mom had to go to the Hospital and called Dad's office and left him a message to get the girl off the bus. Dad says he never got the message.
  • by Pamela on Oct 27, 2011 at 10:19 AM
    Further, how did the little girl gain access to the keys?
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