3-year-old found driving big wheel on U.S. 19

Posted at 10:02 AM, Jan 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-07 23:38:47-05

A 3-year-old Crystal River boy was found riding a motorized big wheel on U.S. 19 Wednesday morning.

At 9:23 a.m., Citrus County deputies responded to US highway 19 in the area of 1180 North Suncoast Boulevard, in Crystal River, in reference to a small child in a small motorized vehicle attempting to enter traffic.

Deputies say they saw several vehicles had formed a blockade around the child who was sitting behind the steering wheel in the driver's seat of a small motorized vehicle in the median of US highway 19. 

Bystanders told deputies that the child had not been struck in any way. 

The child was  was wearing a shirt and diaper and a blanket had been used to cover him, deputies say.

According to the child's father, he was in the bathroom at their home when his son, who was alone in the living room, used his little chair to reach the door locks of the front door and left the residence without him knowing. 

He stated when he came out of the bathroom and called for his son - he  did not answer, deputies say.

Deputies say the father then saw the door open and immediately went out to look for him. 

Not finding him immediately, he got on a bicycle and headed toward Highway 19 where he saw the vehicles surrounding his son, approached and took custody of him.

Deputies made sure both dad and son got home safely.  The case has now been turned over to the Department of Children and Families.

The father's name and child's name are not being released because the case remains under investigation.