NEWPORT, Oregon -- An alert Oregon trooper averted a tragedy when he spotted a runaway 2-year-old running down the middle of a highway. The tot had slipped away from his parents at a nearby community center. KOIN's Amy Frazier has the story.
Dashcam video obtained by KOINs shows Lincoln County deputy Jeremy Gautney spotting the 2-year-old boy running on Highway 101 outside Newport on January 9.
Gautney was headed south on Highway 101 on his regular patrol.
"I was shocked because I thought it was like an animal at first, and then I noticed it was a child," Gautney told KOIN on Thursday. "I guess I was shocked there was a child in the middle of that highway. It's like the main highway for the Oregon coast."
The deputy driving noticed the boy running in his lane and quickly stopped to rescue him.
His frantic parents were nearby searching for him. They had been cleaning up after a gathering at a nearby community center when the boy ran out the door and onto the highway.
The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office released the dashcam video in an effort to remind drivers to be alert at all times. They urge drivers to refrain from texting and using cellphones while driving.
"It sure opened my eyes," the deputy said.
No criminal charges were filed against the parents.