The Washington Post

Man saves 15-month-old baby crawling near a highway, 300 yards from home

A man driving on a Georgia road caught a glimpse of something crawling on the grass, next to a busy highway.

Out of the corner of his eye, the small and human-like thing next to Highway 72 looked like a baby to Bryant Collins, according to Atlanta TV station WXIA.

So Collins called 911.

“I just found a little baby crawling in the street, man,” an alarmed Collins told the emergency dispatcher, according to WXIA. “A baby’s on the highway!”

The small child had crawled out of her home about 300 yards away. She went through the woods, down a small embankment — and might have continued into the highway were it not for Collins.

For at least a few hours, Collins became the child’s guardian. When she cried, he pulled out his cellphone and played gospel music. “She calmed back down,” Collins told WXIA. “I know gospel music calms me down.”

Her biological parents may end up spending time behind bars.

Police arrested the child’s father, Timothy Pickens, according to WXIA, which reported that authorities may arrest the child’s mother as well.

Collins has had his own run-in with the law, but has no intention of going back to prison, WXIA reported:

“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.”

Collins has been free and clean for five years. And it was in his new job, as an auto repairman, that he found himself on the side of the road, a baby’s life literally in his hands.

Watch WXIA’s report on Collins, featured in the station’s aptly named “Hero Central” segment:

Abby Phillip is a national political reporter for the Washington Post. She can be reached at On Twitter: @abbydphillip



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