Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Wednesday

July 9, 2014

Authorities: Child was lap-seat driver

SUTTONS BAY — A driver who swerved a BMW down a Leelanau County road turned out to be 5-year-old girl steering from her father's lap, authorities said.

Sheriff Mike Borkovich sat in his office July 2 when he heard a strange report come over dispatch: an adult driving down County Road 641 with a young child at the wheel. He climbed into a patrol car and stopped the suspect vehicle at the M-204 intersection.

"I see a little girl basically sitting on the lap of the driver," Borkovich said.

The driver, 28, of Bloomfield Hills, told Borkovich that his daughter wanted to drive his new BMW. Borkovich said the man let his daughter sit on his lap and "steer," though the driver claimed he stayed in control.

Neither the driver and his daughter, 5, wore seat belts. Another child, 6, sat in the backseat. Borkovich said a deputy drove the man's wife to the traffic stop so she could drive them all home.

Undersheriff Steve Morgan said deputies found the driver had a suspended license. He said the driver's actions could be considered reckless, but he only received a ticket on the suspended license.


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