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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youth... youthfulsoul

Glad this had a happy ending. I was in a similar situation driving home from work. A lady and her kids were walking on the sidewalk paying NO attention to the toddler trailing way behind her. The baby had his head turned and was watching some kids on bikes all the while walking straight into a 4 landed busy road. Mom was clueless. I had to start honking my horn so she would wake the eff up and pay attention before her kid was killed.

nonmember avatar mom00

Why would someone let their other kids take care of a toddler? Especially 13,9, and 5. An hour may not seem like a long time but it really is to leave a TODDLER in the care of children. I wonder why the dad and cops got in a little fight.

April Rice Stewart

people do change sometimes m glad she is safe and he did a wonderful thing would be thankful as well if it was my child

sterl... sterling21

Talk about rehabilitation, ten years is a long time in prison, most just join.gangs and work out. But this man truly his time to better himself. What an.incredible human being!

nonmember avatar Saoirse

Of course I would be grateful! Is that a real question? Regardless of this gentleman's past, thank goodness for him and God Bless!

nonmember avatar Mandy

Absolute proof that anyone can change if they want to. How amazing that he was in the right place at the right time. So thankful to him that a little helpless toddler was spared from death.

nonmember avatar annoyed

His past is irrelevant to this story... im glad he was there to save her but really does it matter he went to prison. Lots of people go to prison and alot of them change and are well respected people these days just sad he does a heroic thing and people have to worry about his past and put a title on him.. stupid people...

zombi... zombiemommy916

I can't imagine anyone NOT stopping and doing something if they saw a baby alone next to a busy highway...and I agree with annoyed, his past is irrelevant to this story unless HE'S the one who made it a point to disclose his prison time (maybe for self-vindication? Poor guy)...that picture is freakin adorable, btw...and might I add that it's pretty f**king ridiculous that this guy served almost twice the amount of time than someone I once knew who violently shook his one-month old son almost to death, throwing him against a wall and severely disabling him for the rest of his life...I retract my first statement, the child abuser would have left this baby to walk into traffic...thank God for Mr. Collins!!!

nonmember avatar dodie

Wonderful story!!

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