A Close Call For A Little Boy
The woman who would take first shift this morning (the security crew consists of four people, one on at a time) was just coming in at about 5:30 AM and as she walked up to the guard shack she thought she could hear a baby crying and mentioned it to the guy who had third shift. He stepped outside and, as he actively listened, he too could hear it. He stayed at the shack while she went to investigate. It was coming from the direction of a dumpster at a tire store which is near the plant and she had sickening visions of a baby thrown into the dumpster. As she approached she realized it was coming from a little further away so she went back and got into her car to drive into the store's lot to see where it was coming from. She saw the child across the road standing in the doorway of a surveyor's office. He was two years old at the most, wearing pajamas and a diaper. The slippers of his pajamas were soaked and the temperature was mid 30s.
She took him back to the guard shack and called the police while the guy who was in the shack noted that he was otherwise clean, healthy and well-cared for. The sheriff's deputy called protective services who came and got the child. A phone call a few hours later revealed that the child was back with his family. What had happened was he was staying overnight at his grandmother's and when she last checked him, around 1 AM he was sound asleep. Apparently he got up in the middle of the night and went for a walk, my guess is he wanted to go home, and the only mistake Grandma made was neglecting to lock the door so he was able to get out.
What struck me though was how close he was to a main road. The speed limit is 45 and is not well observed. The road is not well lit, though there is a few lights. If he had been there twenty minutes later he would have been in the middle of a rush hour. His pajamas were true blue and not intended to be seen outside at night. How easily I or anyone else who was traveling down that road at night could have struck and killed him? Could you, under those conditions, have seen a two year old in time to stop? Thank God that nothing happened to him but I realize that it could have been tragic. And in other similar cases it has been.
I was once seated on a jury for a woman whose neglectful actions had caused the death of one her grandchildren and I wanted nothing to do with that trial. Fortunately she accepted a bargain just as the trial was starting so I didn't have to make the decision. I would have \hated to see another grandmother in that position.