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Alarming video shows autistic boy escaping nursery and running along a busy road in Gateshead

This is the terrifying moment a young boy with autism escapes from a nursery and runs along a busy road. 

Alarming footage – resemblant of a perpetual nightmare for so many parents – shows the young four-year-old hurtling into a road unaccompanied.  

Luckily, as the video shows, drivers on both sides of the road spot the young boy and stop their vehicles in the street.

But the boy is seen racing off towards a much busier road. He is eventually caught, unharmed, by a quick thinking workman who grabs him and whisks him to safety.

The shocking incident took place after the boy, Charlie Heslop, escaped from 2nd Home Childcare centre on Waverley Road, in Gateshead.

His mother, Rachel, 28, was initially told by staff at the nursery that her son had run away from teachers and into the nursery car park.

But, after making an appeal on social media, she was handed dash cam footage of the incident.  

The footage shows the moment two workmen were travelling in a truck when Charlie darted out of the children’s centre gate.  

She said: ‘Once their van stopped and they realised Charlie was without an adult, one of them jumped out of the van and ran to stop Charlie as he continued to run along the middle of the road towards oncoming traffic on Harlow Green Lane.

The shocking incident took place after the boy, Charlie Heslop, escaped from 2nd Home Childcare centre on Waverley Road, in Gateshead

Alarming footage shows the young four-year-old hurtling into a road unaccompanied

Alarming footage shows the young four-year-old hurtling into a road unaccompanied

‘Once he’s stopped Charlie, he’s started to walk him back along to the nursery which is when two of the children’s centre staff came out as they’d seen Charlie run out the gate.

‘They then took him back to nursery staff without exchanging conversation with the guys to find out what happened, or say thank you.’

Rachael was left in tears and suffered a panic attack after hearing what had happened.

She added: ‘Now whilst this is all bad enough, this is where it gets worse.

‘After finding out how far he’d actually gotten we were told that at the time of the call at 11.45am, they didn’t have all the information yet as the priority was letting us know.

‘Charlie got onto the road at 10:33am – an hour and 12 minutes before they called and they supposedly didn’t have all of the information.’

Rachael said her son was able to escape because the children were playing in an unsecured yard rather than the garden which is secured with fences and gates with locks.

She added: ‘Why they were playing there I’ll never understand, because even with adult supervision and protocols in place there is still open access from there to the road.

‘The building the nursery is operated from is owned by Gateshead Council, so why they think it’s safe to rent to a childcare provider without installing a perimeter fence and gate is honestly beyond me.

Luckily, as the video shows, drivers on both sides of the road spot the young boy and stop their vehicles in the street

Luckily, as the video shows, drivers on both sides of the road spot the young boy and stop their vehicles in the street

The footage shows the moment two workmen were travelling in a truck when Charlie darted out of the children's centre gate

The footage shows the moment two workmen were travelling in a truck when Charlie darted out of the children’s centre gate

The boy is seen racing off towards a much busier road. He is eventually caught, unharmed, by a quick thinking workman who grabs him and whisks him to safety

The boy is seen racing off towards a much busier road. He is eventually caught, unharmed, by a quick thinking workman who grabs him and whisks him to safety

‘In my mind they’re just as much to blame for Charlie getting into the road. A member of staff broke the ‘strict protocols’ and that led to Charlie getting away from them and running into the road.’ 

Rachel added: ‘We were so lucky. I honestly think if it wasn’t for the guys running after Charlie, which subsequently meant Charlie changed direction to run away, that Charlie probably would have gotten to the end of the road and would have been hit by a passing car.’

A spokeswoman for the nursery said: ‘We are carrying out an investigation and are unable to make further comment at the moment.’

A spokeswoman for Gateshead Council said Second Home Childcare at Chowdene leases space in Chowdene Children’s Centre.

She added: ‘Both the indoor and outdoor areas rented by the nursery are totally secure to ensure the safety of the children.

‘The nursery are also able to use the outdoor trim trail facilities, which enhances the offer available for the children in their care, although they are only able to do this on the understanding that the children are strictly supervised.

‘Ofsted have been informed about this incident and will undertake an investigation.’

A spokeswoman for Ofsted said: ‘We don’t confirm or comment on complaints, but any that we receive are assessed and action taken where necessary.’


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