Published: Jan 17, 2011 4:47 PM EST
Updated: Jan 17, 2011 1:51 PM EST

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say a 12-year-old boy drove his family into a South Florida canal during a driving lesson.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says the boy's father let his son take the driver's seat Sunday in the family's SUV. The boy's mother, 1-year-old sister and 6-year-old brother were in the back seat.

The sheriff's office says the boy then accidentally put the vehicle in gear and accelerated. The SUV plunged into a Loxahatchee canal and flipped over.

The sheriff's office says the boy's mother, sister and brother were hospitalized in critical condition Sunday. The father suffered minor injuries and the boy was unhurt. All were wearing seat belts.

--- Information from: South Florida Sun Sentinel, http://www.sun sentinel.com

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)