TOOELE COUNTY – A Grantsville man is charged with child abuse homicide after a two-year-old in his care was killed after being hit by cars on a busy road. Investigators say this was not a one-time problem.
In January of this year, the boy was hit by two cars on Burmester Road. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later died. Prosecutors say it’s an extremely dangerous road to be near.
“There was a two-year-old out on the road. The speed limit on this road is 55 miles per hour,” according to Tooele County Deputy Attorney Robert Clegg.
This was the fifth time that police know of where the same boy had been seen wandering near the same street. Clegg says the first one happened in January of last year. In December, the boy was reportedly outside the home wearing nothing but a diaper, and three cars had to take quick action to miss him.
“The third driver, I’m assuming, had more distance and he actually got warning from people swerving. He probably slammed on his brakes and he says he just missed hitting the child,” Clegg says.
Prosecutors say Michael Montgomery had been in charge of watching the child. Clegg says Montgomery was asked how the boy got out of the home.
“He said he’d fallen asleep and the little boy had fallen asleep, as well. When they were interviewing him about ‘How did he get out?’ He said, ‘He must have gotten out through the doggy door. I didn’t take the time to lock it,’” according to Clegg.
Prosecutors say Montgomery had been warned several times that the child was prone to escape, however, he never made the doggy door more secure. Clegg claims there was even a lock next to the door that wasn’t used.
“If you look up ‘criminal negligence,’ that’s what it takes. There’s a substantial likelihood that [the danger] was not perceived, and it should have been,” he adds.
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