13-year-old driving on grandmother’s lap says he tried to brake before hitting 5 people

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 13-year-old boy who crashed into five people Tuesday night while driving on his grandmother’s lap said his grandmother was giving him driving lessons at the time.

“I didn’t want to, but I ain’t had no choice, so she told me to sit in her lap, and I did,” 13-year-old Joseph said.

His grandmother, Ernestine Hollomon, 58, faces a number of charges in connection with the crash, including DUI-child endangerment.

Police said her car was speeding down Boyd Street when it hit five pedestrians.

“I ain’t know what to do,” Joseph said. “I pushed the brake, but she pushed the gas pedal and went straight ahead and started crashing into those folks.”

Tadarious Allmond said he managed to get out of the way just in time to avoid being hit himself, but he saw the car run over his friends.

“Just rrrmmph. You know, she just, like, ran them folks totally over, like, didn’t stop, didn’t try to stop,” Allmond said.

After crashing, Joseph said he managed to scramble out of a window and flag down help.

“I looked to see if someone was hurt. I seen like three or four, five people on the ground,” he said.

Many of the victims suffered broken bones and head injuries, friends and relatives told WREG. The mother of one victim said her son was in surgery Wednesday afternoon for a broken leg.

“When I got out, folks started hollering at me, talking about ‘What you do? What you do?'” Joseph said.

WREG asked Joseph’s mother, Jennifer Hollomon, why she allowed her son to take driving lessons from his grandmother considering he’s only 13 years old, and police said Holloman’s license has been suspended for five years. She responded, “I don’t know.”

Joseph said the experience has put him off driving.

“I ain’t want to drive no more,” he said.

Hollomon’s first court appearance is scheduled for Thursday morning.

“I hope she’s learning her lesson the whole time she’s in jail. I hope she thinks twice next time,” Jennifer Hollomon said.

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