A 2-year-old boy somehow got out of a Kansas City motel room early Saturday and wandered onto Missouri 350, where a vehicle struck and killed him.
“We still don’t know what happened,” Elizabeth Williams, the motel clerk who checked in the boy and his family, said Saturday night.
Kansas City police said they also didn’t know how the boy was able to leave the room and they were continuing to investigate.
Police responded to the accident scene about 2:30 a.m. and found the boy in the westbound lanes. A witness told police she was driving west when she saw the boy running east in the westbound lanes. When she turned her vehicle around and returned to the area, she saw that the boy had been hit.
Police said the boy’s father arrived at the scene a short time later and said his son was missing from their room at the Crown Lodge, 8500 E. Missouri 350.
The boy would have been 3 in June, police said.
Williams, the clerk at Crown Lodge, said she rented the room to the family of five that included children between ages 11 and 13, and the toddler, about 7 p.m. Friday.
“The woman said they were just up for the weekend and needed a room for two days,” Williams said. “I put them in the back side (of the motel) next to my room because it’s quiet.”
Williams got off work at 10 p.m. She said she heard sirens about 3 a.m., but went back to sleep. Her mother called her Saturday morning and told her about the accident.
“I’m a mom of four myself, and as soon as I heard, it just made me feel ” Williams said, her voice trailing off.
The motel, less than a half mile from Raytown, is next to Missouri 350, where the speed limit is 55 mph. To get to the edge of the highway, the toddler had to walk about 500 feet across a grassy area. There is no barrier or guardrail.
He was hit by a vehicle less than a quarter of a mile from the back side of the motel, under the 67th Street viaduct.
Police think the toddler was sideswiped by a vehicle, and the driver may not have realized a child had been hit.
Police ask anyone who was in the area at the time of the accident to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).
The accident was the third involving a young child in the area in recent days.
On Thursday, a Lee’s Summit mother driving home from school realized that she had never dropped off her 13-month-old son at day care that morning. The boy was still strapped in his car seat in the back and could not be revived.
In Leavenworth that same day, a 2-month-old boy was reported missing and found in his stroller three blocks from home nearly three hours later. He was checked at a hospital.
His mother was charged on Friday with child endangerment.