A Utah man is behind bars after police said his negligence led to a toddler’s death, after the young boy escaped from his home and got hit by two cars on a busy street, causing fatal injuries.
FOX 13 reports that 2-year-old Zayden Beck wandered out of his home off of Burmester Road in Grantsville, in January, while under the watch of 73-year-old Michael Montgomery. The boy’s mother was apparently smoking a cigarette at the time and left Zayden in the care of Montgomery.
Authorities found Zayden unconscious in the middle of Burmester Road after being hit two vehicles. The boy was rushed to the hospital but later passed away from his injuries. One of the drivers reportedly told police she didn’t see him until he darted out in front of her on the road and she didn’t have enough time to stop.
Speeding was not a factor during the incident and the drivers who struck the child were fully cooperative with the investigation, according to police.
Montgomery told police that he was supposed to be watching the boy, but he fell asleep and Zayden likely escaped through a dog door. In court on Monday, prosecutors said Montgomery acted in negligence and should have made certain all doors were secure while watching the boy. He’s been charged with one count of child abuse homicide.
According to police, this isn’t the first time the little boy wandered away from home.
In September, police found Zayden in the middle of the same road after a woman spotted him and called authorities. The boy’s mother picked him up and said that Montgomery, who the child called “Grandpa” although they were not related, was in charge of watching Zayden at the time. Montgomery told police he was playing a game on the computer when the boy escaped.
In October, Zayden wandered away again. Montgomery picked up the child and said the boy must have snuck out of the back gate. In December, Zayden was spotted on Burmester Road wearing only a diaper. Drivers reportedly barely avoided hitting the child. Montgomery told police he went to his shop and Zayden must have disappeared while he was gone.
“It’s awful that this child had loved ones,” Deputy Tooele County Attorney,Robert Clegg, said. “It’s awful that their negligence caused this child’s death.”
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Zayden Beck/FOX 13 Screenshot]