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Patrol: Boys take spin in dump truck

A 12-year-old boy and his 9-year-old passenger stole a 30-foot dump truck and went on a joyride over three highways Thursday, state troopers said.

Danny Linkle and Justin Schaeffer face grand theft charges in connection with the theft of the truck from a lot in New Smyrna Beach, state troopers said. The driver is thought to haveleft the keys in the truck.

The boys drove the truck west on State Road 44 and then turned north on Interstate 95, troopers said. They then headed west on Interstate 4 before taking the DeLand exit back to SR 44.

"We could tell it wasn't going to stop," said Trooper Jerry Caves of the Florida Highway Patrol.

The joyride ended after the truck smashed into two other trucks on SR 44. Three people were hospitalized but later released.

Vanessa Schaeffer, mother of the 9-year-old boy, said her son was coerced into going on the ride.

"He's a straight-A student, and I've had no problems with him," Ms. Schaeffer said. "He told me that the other boy threatened to run him over if he didn't get in the car."