Aussie toddler's 'distressing' encounter after escaping daycare

Shocking footage captures the little boy's near miss with a truck.

An Aussie toddler has had a terrifying close call with a passing truck after he broke free from his daycare group and wandered the streets alone for a total of six minutes.

The little boy was playing at park in Coburg, Melbourne, when it's believed he slipped through a gap in the fencing last Friday and took a stroll around the nearby back alleyways.

Under the care of The Grove Children’s Centre, who had taken the children on an outing to the park, it's unknown how staff were unaware the boy had been missing for so long. CCTV footage has captured the toddler strolling around the streets on his own just before midday, as confusing bystanders look on.

The toddler seen wandering the streets alone.
The toddler was left to wander around for a total of six minutes. Source: 7News.

Child's near miss with incoming truck

At one point, he can be seen running down an alley, coming to a stop merely seconds before a truck zooms past, only just missing the child, Seven News reported. According to the outlet, the child was crying until a resident found him.

A local who noticed the little boy in the laneway said she at first thought he was her neighbour’s grandson.

“I was worried about him, I didn’t know who he was,” Sophie Skliros told Seven. "I told him ‘come here, I’ll take you to your house’ and he ran away crying.”

The toddler seen wandering the streets alone.
Witnesses say it's lucky the situation ended safely. Source: 7News.

Residents call for answers

Another nearby resident branded the ordeal "pretty distressing".

“I think you’d have to be asking serious questions after that about who is at fault,” he said. “Hindsight’s a wonderful thing but you should know where each child is if you’re taking care of them.”

Eventually, CCTV captures the moment the toddler is reunited with childcare staff.

A frantic childcare staffer is seen in CCTV footage.
Eventually, a frantic childcare staffer is seen in CCTV running up and rescuing the boy. Source: 7News.

A woman can be seen frantically running toward the child before scooping him up from the arms of a concerned onlooker, who had come to his aid before the staffer arrived.

A spokesperson for the childcare centre said "children's welfare is of paramount priority".

“The incident is under investigation and we will work with the relevant authority in relation to our reporting obligations, and therefore will not be making any further statement at this time," the spokesperson said.

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