Toddler found trying to cross busy highway

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

Longview police say Brittany Thornbrugh left her child at a friend's house while she ran an errand. That friend and police say it's a miracle the toddler was not hurt. The house where the toddler was left is close busy Highway 80.

"He was going into traffic in Highway 80 at 5 o'clock in rush hour on a Wednesday afternoon," said Officer Kevin Brownlee, with the Longview PD.

It was a recipe for tragedy, but fortunately, police say drivers spotted the child and a dog with him, and saved him.

"They stopped, they got out and got the child out of the roadway," said Brownlee.

Michael Bryant said Thornbrugh left her son at his house while she went to the car wash, but in their investigation, police concluded Thornbrugh did not tell anyone.

"She thought he was safe here and, I mean, I thought he was with her," said Bryant. "It was a big misunderstanding. We had a lot going on was just a fluke. I hate she's in jail for it because it's a tragedy really. She's a good mother."

Bryant said he's still puzzled over how the toddler got out.

"I brought them straight over here and showed them my gate was locked," Bryant explained, showing me the gate. "He's this tall. He's not going to be tall enough to reach that (handle)."

Someone else who got out was the 7-month-old pitt named Precious who stayed right alongside the boy.

"She's excellent with the kids," said Bryant.

And she just may have helped save the toddler's life.

"I think it was good that the dog was with the child," said Brownlee. "It made the child more visible in traffic."

"It's a miracle something really bad didn't happen," said Bryant.

The toddler was placed in the care of family members. He was also checked out at a local hospital and is OK.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.