A 15-month-old baby crawled through the woods, 300 yards from home, and nearly onto Highway 72.

22900 485 17 LINKEDIN 89 COMMENTMORE

MADISON COUNTY, GA -- Long ago, Bryant Collins learned the value of choosing the right path.

"I've been in a lot of bad situations," he told 11Alive's Matt Pearl.

But this past Friday, Collins found, on the side of the road, a chance to save a life.

"I had seen something out of the corner of my eye, and I thought it was a baby," Collins recalled. "I just stopped and, when I got out, there was a baby … almost in the highway."

Collins' reaction? "The same that yours would have been, man … 'What the hell is going on? A baby?'"

It was a 15-month-old baby that had crawled through the woods, 300 yards from home, and nearly onto Highway 72.

Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

Collins called 911, and emergency crews arrived. Police arrested the child's father, Timothy Pickens, and will likely arrest the child's mother as well.

THE PARENTS SPEAK: The baby's parents talk to 11Alive

Thankfully, the child was not hurt, according to Madison County sheriff Kip Thomas.

STAY CONNECTED: Download 11Alive's apps

"Everything was pretty much superficial that we saw," Thomas said, "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."

And Bryant Collins? He stayed with the baby for two hours.

"The baby started crying," Collins said, "so I turned my phone on and let her listen to some gospel music, and she calmed right down."

On this day he is a hero. But Collins could never have saved the life of this baby if he had not, long ago, saved his own.

"I did ten 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.

GOOD SAMARITAN SPEAKS: Bryant Collins says attention has been 'wild'

Other heartwarming stories:

Jon Bon Jovi surprises cancer patient with visit to his lemonade stand

Boy has heartwarming meeting with mascot

Cobb County woman's selfie with Tyler Perry goes viral

Teen's new heart delivered with special message

Orphaned baby rhino only sleeps when snuggling

Cancer takes Colo. teen, but not before she's named prom queen

Interesting stories:

LOOK INSIDE: Tom Glavine's Alpharetta home for sale for $1.995M

INSIDE VIEW: Kenny Rogers' Sandy Springs home for sale

Twisted Twins: Teen sisters confess to brutal murder of mother

Father allegedly beats teen he found showering with daughter

22900 485 17 LINKEDIN 89 COMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.11alive.com/story/life/2014/06/16/madison-man-saves-child-highway/10638845/