Bryant Collins could hardly believe his eyes when he saw a 15-month-old baby crawling on the side of Highway 72 in Madison County, Georgia, last Friday.
Collins appeared on HLN Now and spoke to Mike Galanos about the incident. "I didn't think it could even be a baby at first, how could it be a baby out here in the middle of nowhere?" Collins told HLN. "But at the same time that I'm thinking that, my foot is mashing the brakes."
It was Collins' quick thinking that potentially saved the young girl's life -- and it's the reason he is being hailed as a hero.
Collins, an auto repairman, pulled over, whisked the toddler out of harm's way and called 911. As police were trying to locate her mother and father, Collins stayed with the child for two hours and even played some gospel music to help comfort her. "She obviously just fell down that embankment [next to the highway]," Collins told HLN. "She was looking at me like she knew me."
According to a police report, the baby's father, Timothy Pickens approached the scene and was arrested and charged with cruelty to children, reckless conduct and obstruction. The mother also appeared on the scene and said she had asked her three other children to watch the toddler. The Division of Family and Children Services allowed the mother to take the baby to seek medical attention for small scratches and bruises, but authorities said she will likely face charges later.
As for Collins, he had previously served a 10-year sentence for drug manufacturing, but has spent the past five years turning his life around. He insisted that his act of heroism really wasn't that big of a deal. After all, he said, he was just being human.
"Coming from what I come from, not to downplay it, I mean, everybody I know [would do] the same thing," Collins said. "...It's just doing what you're supposed to do."