INDIANAPOLIS – Drivers swerved cars and trucks into other lanes to avoid a 3-year-old boy, wearing only a diaper and T-shirt, who was playing along a busy highway after wandering away from home while his mother slept, police said.
Some motorists stopped along Interstate 465 on the city's west side Saturday to take care of the boy until officers arrived, the Indiana State Police said.
"I looked up and I seen this little ... boy running down the middle of the slow lane in the interstate. I just could not believe what I was seeing," said Troy Crady, one of those who stopped to help.
The boy, Damon Dyer, was unscathed as at least a half-dozen cars and a tractor-trailer rig swerved into other lanes to avoid him. Temperatures were in the mid-50s as the boy ran around barefooted.
Police said they traced the toddler to an apartment at a nearby complex, where they found his mother, Nancy Dyer asleep in a filthy apartment and his 2-year-old sister eating spaghetti off the floor.
Dyer, 33, was arrested on two counts of child neglect and remained in custody Sunday, officials said.
Senior State Trooper Cedric Merritt said that when Dyer was told of her son's activities, she responded: "Oh, he got out again."
Investigators said the boy got out his second-story apartment, went down stairs and got around a fence to reach the highway about 200 yards away.
Child Protective Services took the boy and his sister into custody, and investigators said the agency also had been called to the apartment Thursday because the boy was outside unsupervised.