Bryant Collins, who spent 10 years in jail for drugs, saved a baby on the side of a highway, and is now a hero!

He got out five years ago, and has since turned his life around.  Bryant now works as a mechanic.

On Friday morning, Bryant was driving down a highway near Athens, Georgia when he spotted something moving on the side of the road.

We've all seen something poke out of the woods while we're driving - 99 times out of a hundred  it's an animal.

But this time it wasn't . . . it was a 15-month-old BABY that was about to crawl across the road.

Luckily, Bryant spotted her in time, slammed on his brakes, and saved her.

It turns out the baby's parents weren't paying attention, and she'd crawled away from their house . . . which was almost a QUARTER MILE away. A quarter of a mile away.

After police showed up, so did her 37-year-old father Timothy Pickens, who tried to grab her and ended up shoving one of the cops.

The baby's father was arrested for cruelty to children, reckless conduct, and obstructing an officer.

Meanwhile, Bryant stuck around for two hours to stay with the baby and play with her.

Police say the mother might also be facing charges.

Bryant was grateful to have an opportunity to do something good for someone else.

Here's the local news story -

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images