Photo: Manuel Silva Covarrubias, 11, left, and Elizabeth Silva Covarrubias, 6
But, under the tutelage of a family friend, police say the boy took to the wheel and started his driving lessons five years early.
Things went horribly wrong.
The sixth grader was killed January 12 in a roadside collision with another car.
His mother, 30-year-old Maria Covarrubias, and 6-year-old sister Elizabeth Silva Covarrabias were both riding in the backseat of the vehicle and also died.
Now authorities have arrested the lone survivor in the car, Froylon Gonzalez, the man police say was giving the driving instruction.
Gonzalez was detained Monday after being released from the hospital where he was healing from injuries suffered in the accident. He was booked into the Tulare County Main Jail on suspicion of three counts of vehicular manslaughter and two counts of child endangerment.
The boy's aunt said Gonzalez was a family friend who had been giving the boy lessons for several months.