Mom accused of letting 9-year-old girl drive
A Grand Junction mother faces criminal charges for allegedly allowing her 9-year-old daughter to drive across Grand Junction at least twice over the span of two days last week. Lori Ann Rogers, 36, was cited on suspicion of two counts of permitting an unauthorized minor to drive, four counts of child abuse, four counts of reckless endangerment and two counts of operating an uninsured vehicle, according to the Grand Junction Police Department.
Rogers was the focus of an investigation Saturday when officers around 1:30 p.m. received reports of a driver “tailgating, slamming on brakes, cutting off other motorists, weaving, etc.,” the summons said.
The summons alleged Rogers’ daughter, 9, had driven a 1994 Lexus sedan from a residence in the 2600 block of B 1/2 Road to Mesa Mall. Rogers was also in the vehicle, in addition to a 10-month-old child in a car seat behind the driver.
Police spokeswoman Kate Porras said an officer contacted the Lexus after it had stopped, and after going through the drive-thru of McDonalds, 2438 U.S. Highway 6 & 50.
An officer watched as an employee delivered a meal to Rogers, who was sitting in the driver’s side of the vehicle, Porras said. Walking away, the employee told the officer, “Oh, they changed seats,” Porras said.
Witnesses told officers they saw the girl driving earlier.
The investigation did not determine why the girl was allowed to drive, Porras said.
As a result of Saturday’s investigation, Rogers was cited on suspicion of allowing the same girl to drive a day prior. Porras said a witness Friday reported to police that a young girl at Go-Fer Foods, 2146 Broadway, had explained she was “learning to drive.”
“The witness reported watching the child drive out of the parking lot,” Porras said.