Sheriff Jimmy Dorney said the 12-year-old boy and his 10-year-old friend drove off in the truck May 4 to find a girl they met at a rodeo. The boys made it about 10 miles before the 12-year-old lost control of the truck.Dorney said the truck hit and jumped over a guardrail, sending it careening 50 feet down a steep hill into a forest.
Clark James, 46, who lives down the road from the crash site, said he answered the boys' banging at his front door with shotgun in hand about 2:30 a.m.
"I opened the door and the first thing (the 12-year-old) said to me was, 'I'm drunk and I had a wreck,'" James said. "I looked at him and I thought 'You're kind of young to be out drinking. And you sure shouldn't be driving.'"
Neither boy was seriously injured in the crash.
County prosecutor Bruce Wilson said that he will charge the 12-year-old boy with drunken driving and several other misdemeanor charges in district and juvenile court in Johnson County.
Wilson said the 12-year-old could face a variety of sanctions ranging from probation, to court-mandated community service and alcohol rehabilitation, to commitment to the state Department of Human Services Division of Youth Services.
Teresa Belew, executive director of the Arkansas chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said the 12-year-old is the youngest person she's heard of facing a drunken-driving charge in the state.
James bets that both Johnson County boys are grounded for life.
"If not, then they should be," he said.
Folks you can't make this stuff up. Where do we begin a 12 year that's drunk? A 12 year old that takes his Step-Daddy's truck? or a 12 year old that takes off after some 10 year old that he met at a rodeo? This lad has done more hard-core living in his short 12 years than I've done in my 43.
He's possibly facing alcohol rehabilitation "Hi my name's Little Timmy I'm 12 and I'm an alcoholic" This kid needs his own reality TV show.