8-year-old takes younger passengers on highway joyride in St. Paul; all are OK

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An 8-year-old boy took two younger passengers for a drive on a series of St. Paul highways – including Interstate 35E – in a journey a State Patrol spokeswoman describes as "incredible" and "bizarre."

Lt. Tiffani Nielsen tells MPR News the boy drove his foster family's '92 Buick Roadmaster for more than 10 miles, navigating a construction zone and changing highways more than once.

Nielsen tells MPR the bizarre situation ended with the best possible outcome Tuesday when the boy pulled the Buick into a Mounds View driveway he'd apparently selected at random, just as a trooper reached the children.

Nielsen tells FOX 9 several callers reported the vehicle swerving on I-35E just before 6 a.m.

FOX spoke with a witness who said he first thought the driver was drunk, until he pulled alongside the car and was shocked to see a boy who could barely see over the steering wheel.

The foster family had reported the missing children – a 5-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy, as well as the driver.

Nielsen tells FOX it's incredible that no one was injured and wonders: "How can an 8-year-old physically control a vehicle – reach the pedals, see over the dash?"

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MPR says the State Patrol turned the case over to Ramsey County Child Protection Services, which will investigate how the children were able to make their getaway from their foster family.

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