8-year-old takes car for joyride, little sister dies - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

8-year-old takes car for joyride, little sister dies

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Aaliyah Felder Aaliyah Felder
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PHOENIX -

An 8-year-old takes his mom's car for a joyride. He then crashes the car, killing his 6-year-old sister.

Police say the 8-year-old drove down 19th Avenue, just south of Buckeye, all the way to Southern. He then made a U-turn and started driving back home.

In the end, the 8-year-old drove almost six miles before crashing the car about a block away from home.

That 8-year-old was supposed to be asleep in bed. Instead he snuck out the house with his little sister. Their mom was sleeping and didn't hear them leave.

Other drivers saw the 8-year-old behind the wheel and called for help.

911 call: "I'm driving and it looks like right next to me there are these two little kids driving a car."

Rudy De La Cruz called 911 to report an 8-year-old kid driving the car next to him.

"They're in a red car and it looks like two little kids and they're driving recklessly… He couldn't see over the steering wheel too good, he was over the dashboard looking at me and trying to drive at the same time."

The 8-year-old drove his mom's Honda for about 30-minutes on 19th Avenue. His sister, 6-year-old Aaliyah Felder, was in the passenger's seat.

"He was speeding up and slowing down, swerving left and right into and out of oncoming traffic."

Rudy stayed on the phone with 911 operators, following the car until police got there.

911 call: "Oh my god they almost hit somebody they're swerving out of control."

When their mom woke up, she realized the kids were missing and thought they'd been kidnapped. She also called 911.

Mother on 911 call: "My cars been stolen and my kids have been taken. My door was unlocked and my door was locked when I went to sleep. My key was gone out of my purse, my purse was in my room with me."

When officers tried to pull the car over, the 8-year-old crashed into a light pole. Aaliyah wasn't wearing a seatbelt. She died from her injuries.

"It's heartbreaking to hear that one of them didn't make it, it's just heartbreaking," says Rudy De La Cruz.

The children's aunt told FOX 10 the boy hurt his ankle in the crash and may have to undergo surgery. He's never practiced driving a car before, she said.

"I can't even put into words. Aaliyah... I'm not ready," said Felicia Sumlin.

Said cousin Zakeeyah Habeel, "It was just really a shock... it's something I'm still dealing with. As a family we are coming together and supporting her [the mother] and just making sure she has everything she needs."

Neighbors have set up donation jars at nearby convenience stores to help Aaliyah's mom pay for funeral expenses.

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