A motorist had the shock of his life when he was saw a baby crawling across the busy Joe Parker Road in Lakewood, New Jersey, on Saturday evening. Authorities say that the baby was safely returned to its parents as soon as the motorist, Cory Cannon of Eatontown, stopped his car and hurried out to rescue the baby, the Asbury Park Press reported. A neighbor also rushed to the scene and recovered the unharmed baby from the road.
The incident took place at around 5 p.m. when Cannon, 41, was driving to work and suddenly saw the baby on the road. He initially thought the baby was “a toy or something until she moved”, after which he quickly got out of his car to stop the oncoming traffic.
He took a picture of the baby and immediately informed Lakewood police. The controversial picture, which Cannon posted to Facebook, went viral and invited shock and dismay from commentators, who blamed the parents for negligence and carelessness.
— Asbury Park Press (@AsburyParkPress) September 24, 2018
The ongoing police investigation into the matter revealed that the baby might have crawled out a door, which was apparently left opened by an older sibling.
The baby’s caretakers told the Asbury Park Press that it was an accident, while two of the neighbors vouched that the child’s parents are “amazing” and “devoted” people. A female neighbor, who requested anonymity, reported having been “devastated” by the things people have said about the baby’s parents on social media.
“I’m personally destroyed by this because I know the family,” she told journalists.
The incident is not the first of its kind, as similar episodes of accident and neglect have often happened in the past. Earlier this year, a Facebook video of an unattended 9-month-old baby crawling around a busy roadway in upstate New York also went viral. A report by the Observer-Dispatch revealed that as soon as the Utica police learned about the matter, an immediate investigation was initiated, and the child’s 27-year-old mother was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child under the NY Penal Law.
Likewise, a baby was found crawling across a busy four-lane street in northern Utah a few years back when a motorist spotted and rescued it. Brigham City police later found out that the mother had put the infant in the crib to take a nap, while his 7-year-old sister took him out of his crib to play and left it unattended, the Daily Gazette reported.