by Dana Gray
A 6-year-old girl's make-believe driving in a car parked in a lot at Sumner Tire Tuesday became all too real when the car rolled down over a bank, across Portland Street and into some trees. The girl was not injured.
Mary Young, 34, of St. Johnsbury, had just left her 1983 Pontiac and was looking for someone to check the tire pressure of her car.
Sumner Tire service manager Jeff Garfield recalled seeing a young girl in the car "pretending she was driving."
The next thing Garfield recalled seeing was the Pontiac rolling toward Portland Street. He said Young chased the car; he chased the car, and other Sumner Tire employees pursued the vehicle.
They were not able to get to the girl before the car rolled down a hill and across Portland Street. When the car stopped from being wedged against a tree, the girl was taken from the vehicle.
Garfield said it was fortunate that no vehicles were coming when the Pontiac rolled across Portland Street.
"It's a pretty busy stretch of road, and it just happened at a time when fortunately nothing was coming," said Garfield.
Although the girl was upset, Garfield said, she was OK.
Garfield said the girl probably knocked the car into neutral. When the car was reached on the other side of Portland Street, it was found back in gear. Garfield said the girl was bouncing around inside the vehicle and likely knocked the car back into gear.
Sgt. Paul Devenger of the St. Johnsbury Police Department investigated the accident. He determined about $3,000 damage was done to the Pontiac.