Father allows 10-year-old to drive, son crashes into canal killing brother and dad

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COULEE CITY — The body of a 45-year-old Ephrata man is still missing after a truck his 10-year-old son was driving during a father-son fishing trip went off the road and flipped into a canal March 30 near Summer Falls Dam, Grant County Sheriff’s Office officials said.

An 8-year-old boy was killed in the crash. His 10 and 12-year-old brothers were safely pulled from the wreckage by two Good Samaritans fishing nearby.

Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones said 45-year-old Scott Kolves was fishing with his three sons when he decided to teach his 10-year-old son how to drive. Kolves was in the passenger seat when he realized his son was heading off the road about 7 miles south of Coulee City. Jones said the loving father tried to correct the wheel, but it was too late and the truck ended up below in the canal.

Kolves and his 3 boys were ejected from the vehicle. Two fishermen saved Kolves’ eldest sons, and a sheriff’s deputy pulled out his 8-year-old boy further down the river. The 8-year-old later died at the hospital.

Kolves’ body is still missing.


Summer Falls. From Stateparks.org

Jones said he decided to release the information that the boy was driving after more than a week of rumor and speculated circulated around the small community. He called the incident a “tragic accident” and a bonding, loving fishing trip gone wrong.

“Scott loved his sons,” Jones said. ” Everybody we talk to lets us know how much he loved his sons. Spending time with them — especially fishing — was the highlight of his life.”

The sheriff said no criminal charges would be filed in the crash. He asked the public refrain from judging Kolves’ decision to let his son drive, and keep in mind that he loved his sons.

“This was an accident,” he said. “Please care for the survivors and help them heal from this awful accident.”

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  • Esco

    So I guess I'm supposed to play dumb and accept this as an innocent accident.
    No Thanx, this was an act of stupidity. Everyone in this vehicle could've died, luckily they didn't.
    I feel for the family but this was pure foolishness.

    • Big B.

      AGREED! ! ! ! This is pure STUPIDITY to allow a child to not only endanger this family, but ALL OTHERS ON THE ROAD… Sorry Sheriff "andy" but "goober" is dead BECAUSE HE WAS AN IDIOT! ! ! !

  • Rob Sebastian

    In my family I learned to drive by tbis age. I was driving a semi by the time I was 12. I was always under supervision until I got my license at 16 in a semi truck.

  • Tarac

    I can understand letting a 10 year old drive under supervision – I was allowed to drive at that age. I can't understand allowing anyone to ride in the vehicle without a seatbelt. So sad.

  • LenMe

    "Refrain from judgement"… ? What was this guy thinking? I can't help but wonder if dad had a couple of beers on this fishing trip that impaired his judgement. If he wanted to teach his 10 year old how to drive, he should have done when no one else was in the vehicle. This was completely and totally avoidable. My condolences to his wife.

  • Dee

    If the Dad wanted to teach his son how to drive, he should've done it on his property or on a farm – not on the road where he endangered others and not next to a body of water that obviously is not well protected. And lastly, and LenMe aptly pointed out, don't do it with others in the vehicle.

  • Charles Marin

    Wow! What a bunch of self-righteous, crude group you all are. Have you forgotten the two that parished were loved by so many and human like you and me? So in other words none of you has ever made a poor decision? This one happened to result in loss of life but that doesn’t make the father stupid or you perfect! Hope you never make another poor decision that costs you anything. If you do, remember your posts and lack of humility here.

    • ᙓᔕᙅO

      If I ever made the mistake of letting a 10 year old drive it wouldn't be near any cliffs or hills.
      It would be a large, empty parking lot if anything.
      Otherwise, this situation here is indefensible, I can't see why you dismiss this as a simple accident, it's much worse.

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