Toddler drives mom’s SUV onto busy road

Tykeia O'Dell's 2-year-old got out of this car seat and got into the driver's seat of O'Dell's SUV. 
(Photo: KMOV via CNN)

Tykeia O'Dell's 2-year-old got out of this car seat and got into the driver's seat of O'Dell's SUV. (Photo: KMOV via CNN)

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. — The mother of a toddler who got behind the wheel and drove her SUV is speaking out.

Tykeia O’Dell said she was at a gas station along Highway 50 in Fairview Heights, Illinois when she decided to go into the convenience store and leave her 2-year-old and 10-month-old children inside the car.

Somehow, the 2-year-old made his way out of his car seat into the driver’s seat. He shifted her SUV into reverse and ended up in the middle of Highway 50.

“Let’s be honest, people do it all time, just run into the gas station not thinking that their kids can unstrap themselves,” said O’Dell.

O’Dell’s SUV has a safety feature in which the car automatically locks when it is not in park, which meant she couldn’t get to her children.

“The car just started reversing in circles. It’s definitely the scariest thing I ever went through in my life,” said O’Dell.

Luckily, a man driving by saw what was going on and used his car to stop O’Dell’s SUV.

“I wasn’t able to thank him like I wanted to because I was frantic at the time. I was worried about getting my babies out of the car, so I thank him very much,” said O’Dell.

The children were not injured.

Police issued O’Dell a summons to appear in court on a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment.

O’Dell said she has learned her lesson and will not leave her kids in the car alone again.