County Deputy Jeremy Gautney has seen a lot of things while on duty as a Newport, Oregon police officer who regularly patrols Highway 101. He’s known as the officer who makes more DWI stops than any other officer.
So, you know he’s probably seen a lot of crazy stuff.
But he never saw a toddler running in the middle of a highway while traffic whizzed by until one night in January 2016. Gautney’s dash cam captured the child’s entire rescue. Gautney is shown cruising down Highway 101 when he spots the child running down the center median toward his car.
Lights can be seen behind the child signifying that there are cars coming his way. At first, Gautney thought the child was an animal but realized it was a child once he got closer.
“He was running on the yellow line there. At that point I knew I had to stop and get the kid out of the road,” Gautney told KPTV.
As soon as Gautney sees the child he immediately slams on his breaks and leaps out of his car to scoop the child up and out of harm’s way.
Just as the officer picked the boy up, cars drove by in the opposite direction. Thankfully, the boy didn’t seem hurt or scared.
“He was just mesmerized by the flashing lights from my vehicle, said Gautney. “And I picked him up and he was happy. Not a care in the world it seemed like.”
Apparently, the boy was at a family gathering not too far away when he wandered off and onto the road around 9 p.m.
“Shortly after removing the child from the highway, Deputy Gautney was alerted to the child’s frantic parents who were searching for him,” Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Curtis Landers told KGW. “The child was returned to them unharmed.”
The boy’s parents arrived shortly after Gautney’s rescue. The parents were not charged with negligence.
“The following video is for educational purposes and not intended to ridicule or question those involved,” Landers said. “The incident was investigated thoroughly and determined to be accidental and no criminal charges will be brought to the parties involved.”
We’re really glad that the boy was unharmed and returned to his parents, thanks to someone like Gautney. You can watch the video of Gautney rescuing the young 2-year-old in the video below.
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