Reckless Cornelius driver enjoys Porsche
Friday, Jan. 10, 2014

Reckless Cornelius driver enjoys Porsche

Three-year-old Mia Koppenal takes a break from driving her battery-operated 1992 Porsche. After this photo, she continued to drive across the lawn.

Although she has been behind the wheel for more than a year, Mia Koppenal, who lives in Magnolia Estates in Cornelius, is a terrible driver.

She has steered circles around a parked car, recklessly driven across several front lawns and hit the gas when neighbors tried to chase her down.

Once, as the neighbor across the street cut his grass on his riding lawn mower, Mia followed him across his lawn, driving behind him the whole time.

Mia, the daughter of Keith and Jen Koppenal, is only 3 years old, and her car is a 4-foot long, battery-operated white-and-hot-pink 1992 Porsche that has a top speed of about 3 mph.

Mia received her car last Christmas, a gift from her dad and her cousin Alexa.

In 1995, Keith had given his niece the car.

“(Alexa) said she’d hold onto it for me for when I had my own (daughter). She kept it all these years. Now she’s 16 and really driving.”

When Mia received the car last Christmas, she immediately got in it and tried to drive.

“But her legs were too short. We had to put towels behind her back to push her closer to the pedals,” Mia’s mom, Jen, said.

“Mia had no trouble leaning to drive. She said the car was too slow, so I put it in high gear,” Keith said. Mia doesn’t know, however, that the car has two more gears. Eventually, she’ll be able to drive even faster.

Mia drove by, steering with one hand and hanging her hand off the side of the car, grabbing at the grass.

“I like to drive on the grass,” she said. I asked her why, and Mia responded, “ ’Cause I want to. I like to go fast.”

Mia’s favorite parts of the car are her Oregon State Beavers stickers her dad’s friend gave her, but she wants to add Dora and Boots stickers.

When she’s not driving, Mia attends preschool at Davidson United Methodist Church. Mia said her favorite color is purple, and she likes eating strawberries.

Coming by at the end of our interview, another neighbor added, “Mia may be a terrible driver, but she does yield the right of way, better than most drivers 10 times her age.”

Men’s basketball league

The Cornelius PARC and Huntersville Parks and Recreation departments now have a men’s basketball league for ages 18 and older. Games will be played at Bailey Middle School on Tuesday evenings in March and April.

Registration, limited to the first eight teams, will be Jan. 20-Feb. 24 at the Cornelius PARC office or the Huntersville Parks and Recreation office.

For more information call the Cornelius PARC Department at 704-892-6031 ext. 188 or visit; or call Huntersville Parks and Recreation at 704-766-2231 or visit

Lisa Daidone is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Lisa? Email her at

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