Kennett Square Public Works employee saves toddler wandering the street

Troy Stevenson, a member of the Kennett Square Public Works staff, rescued a toddler that was walking alone in the middle of the street.

KENNETT SQUARE >> Veteran borough public works crew member Troy Stevenson is a hometown hero.

On a normal workday, he tends to the issues on the streets like repairs, broken pipes and the like. He’s been on the job in Kennett Square for 23 years.

But one day a couple weeks ago, he was on South Street gathering up bags of leaves that residents had put out when he saw a toddler wandering in the middle of the street. The child was wearing only a diaper.

Stevenson, 49, said he was startled and knew immediately he had to do something.

“I even saw another car drive by and not do anything,” he said.

Stevenson said when he first saw the child, a flood of thoughts — too many to remember them all — went through his mind,

“I thought if I didn’t stop, something much worse could happen. He could be hit by a car or the wrong person could pick him up,” Stevenson said.

Well equipped in his borough truck, he closed off the street and put on his flashing lights. He then took the child in those arms of his that remained large and powerful from his former days as a boxer.

He said he tried talking to the child, but realized the toddler was too young to communicate and couldn’t offer any information about himself.

“I picked him up and started knocking on the doors of houses all around. I finally came to a house where the woman said she believed the child lived next door,” he said.

When went to that home, the woman identified the child as hers.

“She thanked me and said she had been taking care of the other children in the back and didn’t realize he got out,” he said.

Stevenson said he didn’t really think of himself as a hero.

“I have a daughter and I know I would want someone to do the same for me,” he said.

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