Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Chase

11-year-old driver chased down interstate in St.Charles Parish

Posted by The Times-Picayune

October 05, 2007 1:14PM
By Sandra Barbier

River Parishes bureau

State Police arrested an 11-year-old driver Friday morning after a chase that reached speeds of more than 100 miles an hour on Interstate 310 in St. Charles Parish.

The boy finally stopped in the parking lot of a Burger King on U.S. 90 in Boutte, where he jumped out of the car and ran inside the restaurant calling for his mother, according to State Police Troop B spokesman Joseph Piglia.

Authorities did not release the boy's name because he is a juvenile.

The chase started at 6:30 a.m. on the elevated interstate near Airline Drive in Destrehan when a state trooper recorded a 1996 Jeep SUV going 80 miles per hour in a 60-mph zone on the south side of the highway, Piglia said.

The trooper turned on his lights and siren and tried to stop the driver, but the youth accelerated, passing several other vehicles on the shoulder of the road and forcing vehicles off the road, according to a State Police news release.

He continued about eight miles to the intersection of I-310 and U.S. 90, where he turned west on U.S. 90, then drove to the restaurant.

Piglia said the boy's mother works at the Burger King and that their family lives in Boutte. He said the boy was returning from Ochsner Medical Center-Kenner, formerly Kenner Regional Medical Center, where he had dropped off his father for an appointment.

During their investigation, troopers discovered that the boy's parents had allowed him to drive his disabled father around for the past six months.

Authorities charged the parents, Leona M. Calloway, 32, and Rodney Brown, 46, with improper supervision of a minor and allowing an unlicensed minor to drive.

They booked the boy with felony flight from an officer, reckless driving, speeding, passing on the shoulder, improper lane usage and no driver's license.

Piglia said neither the parents nor the boy were jailed. All three are required to appear in court to respond to the charges, and the child was released to the custody of an aunt.

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