“Troopers determined that the driver was an eight (8) year old with his four (4) year old sister in the rear seat and their father, Billy Joe Madden (W/M, age 28) of Hattiesburg, MS, in the passenger seat,” Trooper Melissa Matey said in a news release. “While interviewing Madden, Troopers determined that he was intoxicated and was sleeping while his son drove the vehicle from Hattiesburg, MS enroute to Dallas, TX.”
Matey says they stopped the truck around 6:30am after a call from a concerned driver.
“The motorist advised that a green Chevrolet pick-up truck was driving erratically and also that a child appeared to be the driver,” Matey said. “Troopers immediately responded to the area and conducted a traffic stop on the pick-up with a Mississippi license plate on I-12, just west of LA 447.”
Investigators say they turned the children over to the state.
“Both children were turned over to Child Protective Services and are awaiting the arrival of a family member,” Matey said. “There were no injuries to the children.”
The father is charged with two counts of child desertion, parent allowing a minor to drive, open container (of alcohol), two counts of no child restraint and no seatbelt.
- Designated Driver is a Life Saver (monkeybusiness1.wordpress.com)
- Dad Sleeps While 8 year Old Son Drives Down Highway (khmx.radio.com)
- Police: Dad sleeps, lets son, 8, drive on I-12 (msnbc.msn.com)