An autistic 13-year-old Atwater boy took the keys to the family car and snarled traffic on State Route 99 with a wild, dangerous joyride until he was stopped by spike strips and California Highway Patrol cars that spun his car out, according to the CHP.
Several CHP cars chased the black 1999 Honda Civic after motorists reported the car driving erratically, in and out of heavy traffic, heading south from Atwater for about 40 miles to Madera.
Acting CHP commander Sgt. Micheal Donnelly said the Atwater boy apparently decided to take the family car and drive it south on SR 99.
“We heard the ‘be on the lookout call’ start in central Merced about 9 a.m., Donnelly said. “It was thought to be a drunk or seriously impaired driver, or even possibly a stolen vehicle. The Merced units were out of position. We continued to get reports of the vehicle — being unable to maintain his speed or his lane. Other motorists were afraid to pass because of the erratic behavior.” ...