How shocking would it be to see a group of toddlers wandering a busy street alone? That’s exactly what happened to Amanda Lawhorn in Colerain Township, Ohio when she discovered three toddlers who had escaped their daycare.
The local woman was leaving the pediatrician’s office when she spotted three young children on the side of the road, along with another woman who had stopped to help.
The two boys and one girl were reportedly just inches away from Harrison Avenue, a busy street.
The children reportedly wandered away from the nearby Smart Start Childcare facility. Thankfully, they were unharmed and were reunited safely with their families.
“I came up and grab their wrists right away and the lady was on the phone with 911 and had asked ‘what are you doing’ and the oldest said ‘I am crossing the road,’” shared Amanda. “Up until that point no one was out looking for these kids at all,” she said.
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Eventually, a daycare employee joined the scene.
“I said ‘why are they out here’ and that’s when she held up a harness clip and said ‘well they got this off the gate and got out.’”
“If the lady in the car hadn’t stopped and drawn my attention either, this would have been a very different story. As a mom and an ER nurse, I know how these things can go and I think you would’ve had me down here in the roadway using my skills to try and save a child that probably couldn’t have been saved or multiple children,” added Amanda.
Mark Grome, father of one of the escaped toddlers, told FOX19 News, “The director, Haley, called to tell us there had been an incident saying that [my daughter] Scarlett escaped with two other toddlers through a gate but were only out a minute and had made it down the driveway to about the dumpster.”
He said that he didn’t learn exactly how far his daughter had gotten before being found until later in the evening on the date of the incident. He was not pleased. “This is Harrison Avenue,” he said. “Big trucks, semi’s are just as common as passenger cars. I mean, last night went from alright settling down… she’s OK to kind of getting worked up and almost a little enraged.”
Smart Start Childcare management shared the following statement with FOX19 NOW.
“Our center takes great pride in providing a safe environment for all children at the center and yesterday we did not live up to that standard. We feel terrible about the incident and are doing everything we can to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This includes changing the locks on the gate and adjusting our teachers positions on the playground so this can be prevented going forward. Smart Start bought the center less than a year ago and we used the same locks that the previous owner used for the past 10 years with no issues. That being said, we still take full responsibility for the incident. We are also currently evaluating the incident and determining what disciplinary actions will be taken.“
A similar incident occurred last month in Gilbert, Arizona.