Several drivers helped protect a child, who was riding his tricycle on the highway, this morning.
The young boy was pedaling south on 275 toward the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
Anthony Stewart noticed him first. He was driving to work. He drives a medical transport van for Wheelchair Transport Service.
“I thought it was a prank –somebody just riding around through traffic,” Stewart said.
Stewart knew it was not a prank, when he realized the person riding the tricycle was a child.
“He kinda was swerving from lane to lane a little bit so I tried to mirror him,” Stewart said.
Stewart described the moment when two other drivers followed his lead and they created a moving barrier to protect the boy from getting hit by a car.
“So what I did…I got directly behind him. He got to my right. The other guy got to his right and we kind created a little wall and we kinda edged him towards the side,” Stewart said.
Stewart followed him on the highway for 3 miles.
He first noticed the child on the highway just south of 54th Avenue.
“Once we got toward the bridge itself, I just started honking my horn real loud. (I) just kept honking it so everybody was paying attention to me,” Stewart said.
They stopped the young boy with the help of toll workers at the north toll plaza.
The Florida Highway Patrol said the young boy has a disability and left his house unexpectedly.
Troopers said the boy was taken to All Children’s where he was evaluated. He was not injured and is back with his parents.
FHP is not investigating the incident.
Stewart said he noticed the bike had a flat tire and did not have foot or handlebar breaks.
“So basically he was on a wing and a prayer. I don’t know how he made it that far,” Stewart said.
Thanks to a couple of strangers, this morning, the young boy was safe.
“If that was my kid, I would want somebody to please get out of the road ‘cause I don’t want to go visit my kid in no funeral. I’m sure his parents didn’t either. I just felt like it was my duty to help,” Stewart said.