The Montcalm County prosecutor’s office is considering whether to file charges against a Coral woman who left her two young children inside a running vehicle while shopping last week Thursday.
According to Howard City Police Chief Steve DeWitt, they were called to the Dollar General Store on M-82 in Howard City just after 11 a.m. to check on the well-being of the two children, ages 5 and 1. While being left alone in the vehicle by their 22-year-old mother, the 5-year-old put the Dodge Caravan into reverse. The van traveled through the parking lot, over two curbs and a grassy area, and then entered highway M-82 and came to a rest sideways, blocking both east and westbound traffic.
A passerby stopped and assisted by moving the vehicle back into the parking lot out of moving traffic.
The mother of the children came out after finishing her shopping and left the scene with the children prior to the arrival of the police. Howard City Police Officer McDonald tracked her and the children to a home in nearby Coral.
Chief DeWitt said it is illegal to leave a vehicle running unattended, as is leaving children unattended in any vehicle. Leaving a child unattended in a vehicle can result in charges from misdemeanor to a felony if a child is harmed.