‘I just wanted a slushie’: Ohio boy, 7, crashes parents’ SUV

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — A 7-year-old Ohio boy’s joyride to get a treat resulted in a heart-wrenching moment for his parents and area drivers.

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The child, from Middletown, managed to get the keys to his parents’ SUV on May 12, even though they were hung high on a wall, WKRC-TV reported. The boy said he used a chair to reach them, WLWT-TV reported.

Dispatchers from 911 began receiving calls shortly after 8:30 a.m. EDT. Witnesses described the 7-year-old crossing the median and driving the wrong way down the road, eventually crashing into a Jeep, the television station reported.

The driver of the Jeep scrambled out of his vehicle before it was hit.

“I was definitely scared half to death,” the boy’s father, Brian Wittenbach, said after waking up to learn his son had the vehicle, WKRC reported. “My wife and I are not bad parents, and I’m sure people are going to label us like that. It could happen to anyone.”

Nick Cox was one of the people who attempted to stop the SUV.

“It was just pure instinct. I saw someone that needed help and wanted to help him,” Cox told WLWT.

Cox, who works at Queen City Harley Davidson in Fairfield, said he was heading to work when he saw a red SUV driving the wrong way.

“I seen some lady to the left of me she was screaming that there was a kid driving the car,” Cox told the television station. “I went ahead and threw my car in park and I just take off chasing after the car.”

Cox can be seen on a dash camera video attempting to break the back window of the vehicle and was yelling at the boy to apply the brakes, WKRC reported.

The boy is heard on camera footage yelling “I don’t know how!” and “Stop! It’s my mommy’s car!” WLWT reported.

“The gentleman had taken his shirt off, wrapped it around his arm and was sitting there banging it, trying to get it open,” Maria Wright, who witnessed the incident, told WKRC.

The boy is heard on camera footage yelling “I don’t know how!” and “Stop! It’s my mommy’s car!” WLWT reported.

“It was just scary for everybody,” Cox told the television station. “I just kept trying to break the window, get the window open to try to get him out of the car.

“He looked very scared, very scared and confused, almost like he didn’t know what was going on.”

The child was taken to an area hospital and placed under observation for several hours before he was released, WLWT reported.

Wittenbach, who said he attempted to take the family car when he was 5, said he later asked his son why he took the car.

“His only response was, ‘I just wanted a slushie from Speedway,’” Wittenbach told WLWT. “He was definitely scared. He didn’t understand that people were trying to help and trying to stop the vehicle.”

“I’m glad the people that stepped up and did, did,” Cox told the television station.

Middletown police said no criminal charges are expected to be filed. Butler County Children’s Services is investigating the incident, WLWT reported.

Wittenbach said he and his wife appreciated the people who were able to stop their SUV and save their son.

“It scared the (heck) out of me, and I’m just thankful that he’s alive,” Wittenbach told WLWT.

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