Toddler Wandering Toward Busy Highway Rescued by Unlikely Hero

An ex-con in Georgia became a hero last week after rescued a lost 15-month-old little girl who was about to toddle into traffic. Bryant Collins was driving on Highway 72 in Georgia when he saw the tot wandering perilously close to the road.

"I had seen something out of the corner of my eye, and I thought it was a baby," he said "I just stopped and, when I got out, there was a baby -- almost in the highway." Collins spent a decade in federal prison for drugs, and seems to have made good on his commitment to turn his life around, if how he reacted in this dangerous situation is any indication.


The reformed criminal pulled over immediately and scooped up the baby and called 911. He played gospel music on his cell phone for her to comfort her, and stayed with her for two full hours while the police tried to figure out where she came from.

She must have been so scared, but I can imagine it helped to have the man who rescued her stay with her. 15-month-olds aren't very verbal, but old enough to know they maybe should be communicating somehow, but why don't any of these tall people respond to mama or dada?

According to Madison County Sheriff Kip Thomas, the little girl may have been left with older siblings on Friday, who forgot to actually mind her. She wandered 300 yards from her home through some woods and fell down an embankment close to the highway. Thomas said it was a miracle she only had superficial injuries, and that she hadn't been run over.

Apparently her dad, Timothy Pickens, showed up and got into a scuffle with the police. He was arrested, and charged with cruelty to children, reckless conduct and obstruction. The mother also came to the scene and said she had left the baby in the care of the older children (ages 13, 9, and 5) and had only been gone for an hour. She called 911 immediately when she realized her youngest child was missing, and it's unclear whether she will face any charges.

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As for Collins, he was just happy to have the opportunity to help, and show that he is truly a changed man.

"I did 10 years in the federal institution for manufacturing cocaine," he said. "When I was in prison, I made a very conscientious effort to change, and I did."

I'm sure one sweet little girl is also appreciative.

Would you be forever grateful to someone who rescued your child, even if he had a sketchy past?


Image via NBC News

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