LIVINGSTON - A Mississippi man was arrested Saturday and accused of allowing his 8-year-old son to drive his pickup truck while the man slept in the passenger seat, a Louisiana State Police spokeswoman said.

Just after 6:30 a.m., troopers received a call from a concerned motorist traveling west on Interstate 12 near Holden, Trooper Melissa Matey said.

The motorist said a child appeared to be driving a green Chevrolet pickup truck erratically along the interstate, Matey said.

Troopers pulled the truck over just west of La. 447 in Livingston Parish and determined that an 8-year-old boy was driving the truck, Matey said.

The boy’s 4-year-old sister was in the back seat of the truck’s cab, Matey said. The boy’s father, Billy Joe Madden, 28, of Hattiesburg, Miss., was in the front passenger seat.

After interviewing Madden, troopers concluded the man was intoxicated and had been sleeping while his son drove the vehicle, Matey said. The family was traveling from Hattiesburg to Dallas.

The boy and girl were turned over to Child Protective Services to await the arrival of a family member, Matey said.

Madden was arrested and booked into the Livingston Parish Jail on two counts of child desertion and no child restraint. He was booked on one count each of parent allowing a minor to drive, open container and no seat belt. Bail was set at $1,474.