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Officers find 9-year-old girl behind wheel of crashed car

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officers who followed a car zig-zagging down a Des Moines street before it crashed were surprised to find a 9-year-old girl at the wheel with a 7-year-old child riding shotgun.

A 911 caller alerted police to a reckless driver a little before 8:30 a.m. Monday. Officers who spotted the car turned on their flashing lights while following it, but the curb-to-curb excursion didn't end until the minor crash. Police say neither of the children was hurt.

Sgt. Paul Parizek (puh-REE'-zihk) says the children apparently were just out on a joy ride, and were heading nowhere in particular.

Parizek says they won't be referred to juvenile authorities, telling The Des Moines Register "the punishment to fit the crime is probably going to be in the home."

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This story has been corrected to note a 9-year-old girl was driving, not a 10-year-old boy as initially described by police. The gender of the other child wasn't released.

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