Ex-con saves 15-month-old baby crawling along highway

The baby girl crawled 300 yards through the woods, fell down an embankment, and crawled out before almost wandering into high-speed traffic.
By Matt Bradwell   |   June 17, 2014 at 3:47 PM

MADISON COUNTY, Ga., June 17 (UPI) -- A Georgia man is being hailed as a hero after picking up a 15-month-old girl who was crawling along the side of a highway.

"I had seen something out of the corner of my eye, and I thought it was a baby," Bryant Collins told Atlanta's local NBC affiliate. "I just stopped and, when I got out, there was a baby ... almost in the highway."

The baby had wandered from her home about 300 yards away, through the woods, an embankment, and other hazards before almost ending up on the highway. Miraculously, the young girl was not hurt.

"Everything was pretty much superficial that we saw," Madison County sheriff Kip Thomas said of the child's condition.

"Honestly that's almost a miracle: that a 15-month-old can go that far from her house, into the woods, fall down an embankment, wind up near a major highway, and really not get hurt that bad."

Bryant stayed with the baby for two hours, playing gospel music from his phone to keep her from crying.

The girl's father, Timothy Pickens, has been arrested and authorities say her mother may face the same fate.

Meanwhile, the man who rescued the child knows the penal system well, having served time on a drug charge, an experience Collins says saved his life.

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

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