Missouri man, Mitchell Morris, let a 9-year-old boy drive his SUV at 100 mph, resulting in a fatal crash where a 14-year-old boy was killed, Oxly police say. Morris, 37, has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and involuntary manslaughter. The child driver of the 2000 Ford Expedition was the stepbrother of the manslaughter suspect.
Mitchell Morris and the 9-year-old boy were traveling down County Road T3, which is approximately one mile north of Oxly, the Daily Mail reports. The child driver reportedly hit an embankment, causing the SUV to overturn. As a result, everyone inside was thrown out of the vehicle. Morris was allegedly drinking vodka during the incident.
“Mitch was driving and had a vodka bottle between his legs. Mitch told me he was smarter and going to show me how to drive 100 miles per hour,” the 9-year-old boy reportedly told the Missouri police investigating the death of the teen. “Mitch made me drive, it was my first time to drive, he told me to floor it, I hit the gas but tried to brake. I woke up on the ground and ran back to the house for help. I went back and broke out a window to get my brother out but I couldn’t. [redacted] was sitting behind me in the truck.”
The 14-year-old victim was identified by the Missouri State Highway Patrol as Damian A. Winters, also of Oxly. Winters was pronounced dead at the scene around 3:50 p.m. on September 6 after the vehicle rollover.
When the Missouri State Trooper found Mitch Morris, he was reportedly covered in cuts on his face and legs. After failing a field sobriety test, Morris was handcuffed and arrested. The manslaughter suspect was transported to a hospital in nearby Doniphan for treatment of moderate injuries sustained in the crash, KFVS reports. The 9-year-old boy reportedly suffered only minor injuries. No one inside the SUV was wearing a seatbelt, according to the police report.
“I was trying to teach the boy how to drive, I was not driving the vehicle,” Morris reportedly told investigators.
Some members of the Oxly area have voiced their outrage about the accident and a desire to see Morris punished to the fullest extent of the law.
“I just don’t think it should have been right for that nine year old to be driving, period,” Christopher Burk said. “Who drives at 9 years old? Only on the farm lands is when you need to, on your mom and dad’s lap, you don’t need to be driving on the main highways.”
Mitchell Morris was scheduled for preliminary hearings at the Ripley County Courthouse earlier this week.
[Image via Twitter]