Toddlers found on GH railroad tracks

A brief getaway for two very young children Saturday evening ended safely. Moments after the two toddlers walked away from their home, they were discovered playing and unharmed in the railroad tracks near the intersection of Jackson and Fourth streets, confirmed Lt. Renee Freeman of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety.
Becky Vargo
Oct 11, 2011

Police were called about 6:30 p.m. by an anxious father who said his two children had apparently walked away when he took down the safety gate while cleaning the porch, Freeman said. Moments after the call, “a passerby observed the children sitting in the railroad tracks,” Freeman said.

The father and children were safely reunited and no further action was taken, she said. The responding officer “felt this was an accidental situation and there was no need to call Child Protective Services,” Freeman said.

Grand Haven Township resident Kim Lavine said she was driving down Jackson Street with her two sons, Dylan and Ryan, when her 12-year-old son, Ryan, yelled at her to turn back.

“’Mom, turn around,’” Lavine said Ryan told her as she drove past Fourth Street. “’There’s two naked babies in the tracks.’”

Lavine drove around the block and noted a frantic-looking man on the telephone just north of Fourth Street, but said she was too concerned about the children’s welfare to stop. When she pulled up to the area, a man walking by also observed the children, only clad in diapers, and was calling 911.

She asked if the man was the father of the children and he said no, so Lavine told him she was going to check with the other man she saw, while the bystander stayed with the children.

“Both babies had big spoons,” Lavine said. “They were playing in the dirt with them. They couldn’t have been much more than a year old.”

Lavine located the father and told him where to find the children. He rushed to the spot, soon followed by his wife, Lavine said.

“The mother grabbed one of the children and was laying on the ground sobbing, while the father picked up the other child,” Lavine said.

Lavine said once the children were reunited with their parents, she left the scene at the urging of her son, Dylan, who suggested the moment was too private on which to intrude.

“I’m so glad it’s a happy ending,” she said.

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