NEW PORT RICHEY — A 22-year-old woman was arrested and charged with child neglect Wednesday after two toddlers she was caring for were found walking into highway traffic.
The children — 2- and 3-year-old siblings — were found around 8 a.m. walking eastbound on State Road 54 at the Grand Boulevard intersection, where the highway spans seven lanes and the speed limit is 45 mph. They were almost hit by a car while walking into the road, according to sheriff's reports, but staff at Storybook Schoolhouse daycare recovered them.
Coral Peterson, of 4177 Highland Loop, New Port Richey, told a Pasco Sheriff's deputy that she was doing household chores and another person in the home was supposed to watch the children. That person denied having responsibility for them.
According to the report, the toddlers were gone for about 30 minutes before Peterson realized that the back door was open and the children were missing.
She remained in Land O' Lakes jail on Thursday in lieu of $10,000 bail.