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South Boston grandmother let 10-year-old drive her car, police say

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  May 21, 2012 11:39 AM

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A 74-year-old woman was cited on Sunday after allegedly letting her 10-year-old granddaughter drive her car in the parking lot of a McDonald's in Quincy, police say.

According to police, the grandmother had allowed her granddaughter to test drive the car in the McDonald’s parking lot at 275 Hancock Street at 6:25 p.m. on Sunday. While driving, the little girl hit three different cars.

Police arrived at the scene and spoke to several witnesses, one of which was a McDonald's employee.

The employee pointed out that the little girl had been driving the car in question before police arrived. After the accident, the two had switched seats.

The grandmother initially told police that the accidents occurred when she mistook the gas pedal for the brake.

But when police told her they had a video of the episode and witness accounts saying that her granddaughter was in the front seat, initiallty she denied it, police said, and then said the child was on her lap.

Ultimately, police said, she conceded that she had allowed her granddaughter to sit in the driver's seat as a treat.

As she was explaining how the car works, the granddaughter put the vehicle in drive and accelerated into other vehicles. The grandmother switched places with the young girl so the girl wouldn't get in trouble.

No one was injured in the incident, and all the accidents were minor fender benders.

Joan Joseph, 74, from South Boston, was cited for allowing an unlicensed person to operate her motor vehicle. The name of the little girl, who is from Quincy, was not released. Joseph could not be reached for comment.

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