December 5, 2011 by staff
9-year-old Driver, Shawn Weimer grew up on a 22-acre farm in Carleton, a rural community in Monroe County, and recalls driving by himself at age 9. His family owned a junkyard, and Weimer said he had access to many vehicles when he was young.
Early on the morning of Oct. 8, the father asked his 9-year-old daughter whether she wanted to drive. “It’s just something that I experienced when I was a kid that I shared with my daughter,” Weimer said.
Their drive has been seen across the country since, in the form of a gas station surveillance video that shows the girl pulling a large red van up to a gas pump, going inside with her father, heading back to the van and driving away.
Weimer admits he had been drinking that night. While inside the store, Weimer told a gas station clerk his young daughter was his designated driver, the video shows.
A witness at the gas station saw the child driving and called police, who pulled the girl over and arrested Weimer shortly before 3 a.m. He was criminally charged with child abuse and allowing an unlicensed person to drive.
“I made a mistake,” Weimer told the Free Press in his first sit-down interview since his arrest.
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