Five-Year-Old Leaves School Unnoticed, Crosses E. State St.

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A Rockford family is thankful for many things on this holiday, but especially for their son after he ended up in a potentially deadly situation.

"He almost got killed twice by a car."

David Sanchez can't believe his son Michael is okay after what happened to him last week.

"I got a phone call from the nurse telling me that Michael was with her because he was sick, so I said ok I'll be there in a few minutes to pick him up," said Sanchez.

But there was a problem. Once Sanchez got to the school, they couldn't find Michael. After searching the building for about 20 minutes a man came inside saying he saw a boy walk out of the building a while ago.

"I was about to call 9-1-1 because I got scared, when I got a phone call from my sister, just as I was about to dial the number, she said 'hey what's Michael doing here? Two people just brought Michael.'"

This is what happened; Michael started out at Johnson Elementary on Rural St. and walked to East State and Fairview, more than a mile away from his school. He then crossed E. State into traffic before workers at Popeye's came to help.

It seems there was a miscommunication when Michael was told he was going home. He thought he was supposed to walk home. And even though there's a camera at the front door of Johnson, where Michael left, nobody noticed him leaving. Sanchez says he's now worried about his son at school.

"When he's in school and I leave the house, I drive on Rural outside of the school to make sure I don't see him," said Sanchez.

The district did not want to comment on this situation on camera but they did release a statement over the phone. They said "This matter was resolved internally and the safety and well being of our students is top priority."

The district did tell Sanchez they are looking at a policy change, but they didn't give him details. They explained that to him a week after the incident happened, after he called back because he didn't get a call back the first time he called. Sanchez says he's upset at how the situation was handled.


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