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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Toddlers Escape from Day Care, Wander Along Roadside: Driver Hits Brakes and Jumps Out to Save Them

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Kirbie Washington of Summerville, South Carolina, was driving on Thursday morning when she saw something that made her slam on the brakes.

Was it a dog wandering into the road? An errant driver veering toward her?

Nope: two toddlers wandering out by themselves, one on the sidewalk and one in the road.

It was around 10:30 a.m. when Washington spotted the two escapees from the nearby Cadence Academy day care, and to say she was surprised would be an understatement.

“I was actually on the phone with my fiancé,” Washington told WCSC-TV in Charleston, “and I was like, ‘Hey, there’s, there’s kids outside!’ And he’s like, ‘I’m hanging up, call 911.'”

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“Like, I was in shock,” she said. “I was driving, and I noticed two small kids getting closer and closer to the road and no adult was around, nobody was running towards them.

“And I ran past the younger girl first because she was on the sidewalk just picking up rocks, but the little boy was actually off of the sidewalk in the road.”

She saw that the day care was nearby, so she walked over while calling 911. When police arrived, they were able to determine that the two 2-year-olds were, indeed, from the day care.

According to the director, the toddlers had sneaked out through a hole in a broken fence as a teacher was calling all the children inside. Once she noticed the two were missing, she called for help, and the director and another staff member ran outside.

“And so then, the day care workers ran out, two of them ran out to me, and they were like, ‘Thank you, thank you so much,'” Washington said.

A mother of three herself, she took to Facebook after the scare to warn parents.

“I JUST WAS APART OF THE MOST BIZARRE INCIDENT!!!” Washington’s post began. “Pleaseee share and get the word out !!!

“I was driving down Old Trolley road when I smashed on my breaks because I noticed two small toddlers wondering on the side walk and one running into the road. I jumped out of my car and ran towards these toddlers and picked them both up while scanning the area trying to figure out where they could have came from because there was not one adult in sight.

“I noticed Cadence Academy and started walking into that direction while calling 911. Police showed up in less then 5 mins getting a report of everything that had happened and afterwards going into the daycare getting reports from the workers.

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“I’m making this post because I’m grateful that I was the one that noticed them and was able to react as swiftly as I did and because you need to be aware of what kind of child care/ people are watching your children. This could have been so much worse then what it was.”

In the comments, Washington continued to say the incident was “completely unacceptable” and worthy of a lawsuit — but many people chimed in to say the day care was “dealing with it,” that no such thing had ever happened before and that they would continue to send their kids there.

The parents of the two children were allegedly notified, though the Cadence Academy assistant director declined to comment on the situation.

A woman identifying herself as the aunt of the little girl who’d gotten out shared Washington’s post and thanked her for stepping in.

“This happened to my niece yesterday and I am livid!” Katrina Walker Hair shared. “The nerve of the people in these comments defending the daycare. Let this happen to your children! My sister could’ve lost her only child! Thank you Kirbie Washington so much for saving my niece’s life!”

According to Washington, her intervention was spontaneous: She said her maternal instinct “just kicked in, and it was like an automatic reflex just to get to the kids and make sure that they were safe.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking