3-year-old safe after wandering from day care into rush hour traffic in Lehigh Acres

Published: November 3, 2021 5:08 PM EDT
Updated: November 4, 2021 8:22 AM EDT

A three-year-old girl slips away from her day care and onto a busy road in Lehigh Acres. The young girl crossed six lanes of traffic on Lee Boulevard before a good Samaritan stopped to make sure she was safe.

The little girl walked right out of the Garden of Infants day care and onto Lee Boulevard, a six-lane road with cars going 45 miles per hour or faster.

The person who called the police told a 911 operator, “I was just running behind a little girl crossing the street and she almost got killed.”

That good Samartin is Miguel Burgos. He said, “I stopped the cars with my hands, but still running and when we crossed the street we fell in the grass. She started laughing like it was a little joke. like it was a game and that’s when I see the most beautiful blue eyes I’ve ever seen in my life. I pick them up and she hugged me and she was like nothing, she didn’t know, I can’t explain. It was very emotional.”

Alexander Martin, a father who lives in Lehigh Acres said, “unbelievable. I can’t believe the type of negligence.”

Another Lehigh Acres father, Pedro Ruiz, said, “it’s a miracle that child didn’t get hit especially here on Lee Boulevard. And looking at this road right now, can you even cross that? Oh no! I wouldn’t even try.”

What happened Monday may not be the first time a child got away from the day care. A complaint led to a Department of Children and Families inspection in August.

The inspector found the dayc are was not in compliance because “the facility’s fencing walls or gate area had gaps that could allow children to exit the outdoor play area.”

Garden of Infants day care took care of that issue.

Ruiz said he lost his daughter on Lee Boulevard several years ago. He said he can imagine what the child’s parents are going through and is glad their little girl didn’t meet the same fate as his own. “It’s beyond devastation. It’s giving me goosebumps. That’s a blessing and that child has an angel.”

The good Samaritan who grabbed the little girl on Monday refused to give her up to a day care employee until sheriff’s deputies arrived.

The official report said when the parents arrived they were grateful she was not hurt.

WINK News was told that the day care has hired an attorney.

The Department of Children and Families is investigating the incident.