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Cops: Drunk Dad Let Son, 8, Drive Before Crashing

WEST WHEATFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) -- Police say an Indiana County father is facing charges for allegedly allowing his 8-year-old son to drive his SUV, which eventually crashed into a tree and injured the child.

Frank Conway, 46, of West Wheatfield Township, has been charged with endangering the welfare of children, recklessly endangering another person and other counts.

State police say he allowed his 8-year-old son to drive his 2014 Jeep home on Aug. 4, because Conway had been drinking.

Police say the boy was sitting in between his dad's legs while operating both the steering wheel and pedals of the jeep.

"Obviously, this is not a very rational decision, so anyone making a decision like this couldn't have been a clear mind to think an 8-year-old should drive a vehicle," Trooper Stephen Limani, of the Pennsylvania State Police, said.

The criminal complaint says Conway's son drove into a yard, back onto the street, and then into the parking lot of a nearby VFW before re-entering the yard and hitting the wrong pedal, which caused him to strike a tree.

This allegedly happened behind Conway's home.

The 8-year-old was taken to Indiana Regional Medical Center for injuries to the left side of his face and chest.

According to the criminal complaint, the child admitted to police that his dad had been drinking. The complaint goes on to say Conway allegedly told police there was nothing wrong with what he did.

Neighbors KDKA's Amy Wadas spoke to say they never heard a crash that night. In fact, one neighbor says he's in total disbelief that Conway would actually let his son drive. That neighbor says he's only seen Conway drink occasionally, and never in excess.

However, state police say Conway's son might not be out of the woods either.

"You have someone that's a juvenile operating a car, they could potentially face some type of charge," Limani said.

Police say Conway could face DUI charges as well once toxicology results come in.

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