Utah 3-year-old Walks Out of Preschool, Ends Up At Busy Intersection
KAYSVILLE, Utah – When you drop your child off at school, you expect them to learn of course, but you also expect them to be safe. A Kaysville mother is still trying to wrap her head around how her 3-year-old son got away from the school and ended up at a busy intersection.
Gunner Watts is a busy toddler, curious as they come and a bit of a backyard Houdini.
“He’s an escape artist,” said Suzanna Watts, Gunner’s mom.
She has taken precautions to make sure he stays safe at home. There are childproof locks on all the doors and gates, and even cinder blocks beneath the fence in the backyard.
“I can’t open it,” Gunner said as he pointed to the gate.
Monday was a big day for Gunner: his very first day of preschool.
“I was super excited,” his mother said. “He was so excited, too.”
Maybe that excitement wore off or his curiosity got the better of him.
“I just ran off,” Gunner said.
“He seriously walked out the front door and no one saw him,” Tyler Watts, Gunner’s dad said.
Gunner made it to the intersection of 200 North and 300 West in Kaysville, around the corner from Apple Tree Schoolhouse, where someone did see him.
“I got a phone call from the police department and they told me they have Gunner here and some lady picked him up,” Suzanna said.
Turns out, Gunner was trying to go home – about three miles away.
“He knows the way home for sure, but he would have had to go under a freeway overpass,” Tyler Watts said in disbelief.
“My heart dropped,” Suzanna Watts said. “I didn’t even know what to expect when I heard the words, ‘I have your son.’”
When Suzanna showed up to find out what happened, she says she spoke with the school’s owner.
“She apologized and started to cry and I appreciate that she was sorry, but if this had a different outcome, sorry is not enough,” Suzanna said.
Gunner’s first day of preschool will also be his last.
“Oh yeah, I got my refund and I’m grateful for that, but I couldn’t care less about the money,” Suzanna said. “It’s about my child’s life.”
KSL TV reached out to Apple Tree Schoolhouse by phone and went to the school and received no answer from them.
The Kaysville Police Department is turning over the investigation to DCFS, so they can conduct their own investigation into the safety of the school.
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