2-year-old drives family's SUV into ditch while parents sleep


by RICHARD DEVAYNE / NewsChannel 36 Staff


Posted on June 5, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 6 at 10:15 AM

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- A 2-year-old child was not injured after climbing in the family's SUV as it rolled down their Rock Hill driveway on Sunday.

The York County Sheriff's Office said the parents of the 2-year-old girl believe she may have taken the keys from her home while her parents slept last Sunday around 4:30 p.m.

The toddler was able to get into the SUV as it rolled down the steep driveway and cross five lanes of traffic on Celanese Road.  The vehicle flipped in a ditch and landed on its side.
NewsChannel 36 spoke with the toddler’s mother, Amy Patty, on Tuesday. She said she was upset about the incident because her daughter "could have died."

Patty also said that she was upset at "all of you (media) coming here because people will think I'm a bad mother."
Deputies said the SUV did not hit any other vehicles or encounter traffic, but a witness realized a toddler was in the vehicle and alerted police.
"I saw the car rolling back, then it flipped...and then I saw a baby," said a next-door neighbor of the parents. 
The toddler was safely removed from the vehicle and checked out by EMS before being cleared of any injuries, according to the police report.
"I’m sure they’re responsible parents and to have this happen is very devastating to them as well as everybody else," said Donna Borchert, who lives two houses away from the Patty family. Borchert was not home at the time of the crash.
Deputies quickly realized the child and SUV had come from a home across from where the incident occurred. The doors of the home were open and authorities found both parents asleep in a bed, according to the police report.
Patty told deputies she had gotten home from work around 2:30 p.m. and had fallen asleep with her husband, according to the report.
She thought the keys were on a hook in the kitchen and told deputies her 2-year-old must have grabbed them, the report states.
The Department of Social Services was notified and no charges have been filed, according to the report.