Boy with autism found running through traffic on I-696

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An unsettling situation unfolded on I-696 as student with autism got off a school bus and began walking on the freeway Tuesday.

Thankfully many drivers, who were mindful of the boy in danger, stopped their vehicles as he started walking.

"This is the most dangerous and most heart-stopping thing you could see," said Scott Maurer. "You don't know what to do."

Maurer was heading westbound on I-696 at 3:30 Tuesday near Coolidge Road when he encountered the boy.

"I was cruising along 65 miles per hour and all of a sudden traffic comes to an abrupt halt," he said. "I look over and I see this little boy running down the middle of the lanes."

During the traffic standstill he recorded video of the boy.

"He was running through traffic for about a quarter mile or something like that," Maurer said.

A bystander tried to corral the young man without any luck.

"Obviously he couldn't catch him," Maurer said. "He went a little further on and then more people got him."

Seconds later according to Maurer, police were at the scene bringing it to a peaceful conclusion.
Huntington Woods police released a statement saying he was safely detained and transported to a local hospital.

"I'm incredibly thankful, it's such a dangerous situation," Maurer said. "He's a lucky kid to be honest."

But where did he come from? Maurer would find that answer a little further down the road snapping a picture of the school bus.

"More than a quarter mile I would say, the bus was pulled over to the right," Maurer said. "He made quite a distance going through there running through incoming traffic."

FOX 2 reached out to Oak Park Public Schools. The superintendent sent us a statement which reads in part:

"A student with severe autism, who attends a center-based program in another district, was being transported home by First Student Transportation. The student wears a harness for his safety during travel.

"We are investigating how he was able to get out of the harness and use the emergency exit in the back of the bus."

Police say there is nothing criminal that they can point to. FOX 2 contacted First Student and was told no comment.