It’s every mother’s worst nightmare: their teen drivers getting into an accident. But the two young men in this incident were deep in several layers of trouble, and it’s not just their mothers they’ll be hearing from.
First, they were only 14 and 15 years old. Even if they’d been responsible individuals, at age 15 in Dallas, Texas, where the accident took place, you can only have a learner’s permit with restrictions. Driving at night with a friend in the passenger’s seat breaks two permit rules.
Second, the car wasn’t theirs, and it wasn’t borrowed. They had snuck into Hollywood Producer Michael Cain’s garage and stolen his car on Feb. 17.
Cain only realized something had happened when his wife came in from the garage after going to get something from the car.
“My wife went out there to get something out of the car and came back in and thought she was joking when she said, ‘I think the car has been stolen,’” he told WFAA.
Cain and his wife had heard an odd noise in the garage earlier but brushed it off. Afterward, they knew they must have been hearing the boys steal their vehicle.
The teens were spotted five hours later by cops. They were driving fast, and as they pulled over they did not reduce their speed enough.
Clipping both another vehicle and then a pole, the car flipped sideways and started going up in smoke.
Sure, they were criminals, but they were still just kids. Police officers Thomas Cline and Brandon Boren rushed to help them, responding to panicked pleas from the young men.
“Help, for the love of God!” one said. “Help! Help! Help! Pull me please! I don’t want to die!”
“Get out dude,” Boren yelled at them. “The car’s on fire!”
“You are going to have to get out, give me your hands,” Boren said. He helped haul out one young man, but the other was wedged behind the steering wheel, the car steadily burning more and more.
“I’m going to get you, man,” Boren continued. “Don’t worry. I’m going to get you. Give me your hand.”
Continuing to reassure the teens, the authorities eventually managed to free both of them from the fiery wreck.
“You see them in Joy Ride and movies but you never think it will happen to you,” Cain told WFAA.
“Shocking on many fronts,” Cline said. “One, that someone took a crow bar and plunged it into our garage door and pulled it over.”
“It says a lot about the 2019 Honda Odyssey that it can go 100 mph on a residential street, wreck like it did and that the young men lived to see another day,” Cain wrote on Facebook on Feb. 21. “We are particularly glad no one was injured. I also have to give Geico kudos for being so professional and courteous with the situation.”
Even though the police officers didn’t know the kids were criminals at the time of their rescue, they wouldn’t have thought twice about rescuing them.
“Looking back on it I don’t know if I could live with myself watching someone potentially burn to death without trying to help,” officer Cline said.
Thankfully the teens survived, but despite their “joy ride” and their close brush with death, they have a long road ahead of them.
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