PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Police have charged a 20-year-old woman for allowing a 12-year-old girl to drive a car.
On Tuesday, Port St. Lucie police responded to the intersection of NE Airoso Boulevard and SE St. James Drive for reports of a crash involving multiple cars.
Police say the first car was driven by a 12-year-old girl. According to the arrest report, 20-year-old Brittney Ashley Powell was in the passenger seat and a 7-year-old girl and 11-year-old girl were in the back seat.
Sgt. Frank Sabol with Port St. Lucie Police said, “The 20 year-old had asked an 11 year-old to drive, she refused and jumped in the backseat of the car.”
Police say the 12-year-old girl reluctantly got in the driver's seat.
At the intersection, Powell told the girl to go and in a panicked state, the girl attempted to turn onto SE St. James Drive and crashed into another car. That impact caused the second car to crash into another car that was at the intersection.
All four occupants of the first car were taken to the hospital, as were the female driver of the second car and her two children. The driver of the third car was uninjured. All injuries are considered non-life threatening.
During the investigation, police say they learned that Powell told the 12-year-old girl to drive the car from a house in Port St. Lucie to a Circle K gas station in the 200 block of Airoso Blvd.
After stopping at Circle K for beverages, Powell had the 12-year-old drive back, which ended in a collision.
Powell was cited with a misdemeanor criminal traffic citation for allowing the girl to drive. Powell was also cited because neither she nor the girl wore seat belts. She had been arrested less than two weeks earlier for shoplifting.
Police are continuing the investigation and will confer with the State Attorney's Office for possible additional charges stemming from this incident.
"She should have never ever let an unlicensed driver drive the car,” Sgt. Sabol said. "(It) could have been a lot worse than it actually was… but it could have been totally prevented."