An auto mechanic who says faith saved him from a life dealing drugs is being hailed as a hero for saving a 15-month-old girl crawling along a Georgia highway.
Bryant Collins, 45, of Madison County, GA, spotted the child while driving in his pickup June 13. Authorities say the unattended toddler had crawled 300 yards from her home, through the woods and nearly onto Highway 72.
“I thought it was a baby,” Collins told WTVR. “I just stopped and, when I got out, there was a baby, almost in the highway.”
The child was not seriously injured, but police arrested the child’s father and said charges would likely be filed against her mother.
Collins stayed with the child, keeping her calm while waiting for police to arrive. When the little girl began to cry, he played gospel music on his phone – which did the trick.
“I know gospel music calms me down,” Collins told the TV station.
"It’s extraordinary that somebody would actually look to the side of the road and wait with that child," Shawn Burns, chief deputy sheriff for Madison County, told Patch. "It’s pretty amazing that child wasn’t bitten by a snake and didn’t have an allergic reaction or something. Lucky it wasn’t at night."
Collins, who spent 10 years in prison for manufacturing cocaine, was released in 2009. During his incarceration, he said he chose to change his life, and this proves it.
“It made me feel good that I could be in society and do good,” Collins told the TV station. “Just as well as you can do bad, you can do good.”
Patch reporter Joey Francilus contributed to this story.