Father Arrested After 9-Year-Old Daughter Crashes Car Into Tree

A Cleveland man was arrested after his 9-year-old daughter crashed a car into a tree.

Jaron McGee let his daughter drive his car in a Painesville Township parking lot while he sat in the passenger seat Sunday night. The girl lost control of the car “after achieving excessive speed” and drove into a large tree, according to Chief Deputy Frank Leonbruno. The purple four-door 1998 Honda had extensive front end damage, he said.

Family members took the 9-year-old from the scene before police arrived, and authorities were told the girl was not injured. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is following up to make sure the girl is unharmed.

McGee wasn’t injured in the crash either, but he was arrested for child endangerment and wrongful entrustment. In Ohio, wrongful entrustment includes allowing someone who does not have a valid driver’s license — whether it is suspended, revoked, or in this case, nonexistent — to operate a vehicle. Both charges are first-degree misdemeanors, but the 23-year-old was also held on outstanding felony and misdemeanor warrants from other jurisdictions.

This isn’t the only incident involving children and cars this past weekend. In East St. Louis, two boys playing in a car in front of the Gompers housing complex accidentally ran over and killed a 15-month-old girl. Jay’lah Keith was standing in a front yard when one of the boys, who had taken his mother’s keys without her knowledge, accidentally shifted the car into drive. As the car rolled down the driveway, it ran over little Jay’lah. Her father brought her into the house and called 911, but sadly, she was pronounced dead.

Jay’lah’s family said they don’t blame the boys or their parents for the tragedy, and police called it an accident. The case is still under investigation, however, and it is unclear whether the boys will face criminal charges.

What do you think should happen to the father who let his 9-year-old daughter drive a car?