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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