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|Man recalls child rescue|
Chad Parker said he didn't panic when he ran and picked up an 18-month-old girl sitting in the centerline of Hwy. 4 near the technical college Thursday around 10 p.m.
"It was more like I was thinking clearly. Instinct kicked in. I thought, 'I've got to protect this baby, even though it isn't mine,' " he said.
Parker, 29, of Winns-boro, was a passenger in a vehicle driven by his friend Dustin Cobb and they were nearing Front Street on their way to the store when Cobb swerved to dodge something in the middle of the road.
"We said, 'What was that?' and we knew it was a baby. I had jumped out before he stopped because there was another car coming," Parker said.
Wearing only a diaper and white t-shirt, the child, a girl, "was bawling its eyes out" when Parker scooped her up and ran back to the car. She was not in a car seat, according to Parker.
The baby was bleeding from her left eye and Parker thought a car might have hit her.
As Cobb drove to Franklin Medical Center, "I held her close to my chest trying to comfort her and she calmed down some," Parker said.
On the way to the hospital, Cobb called Winns-boro Police and told them they'd found a baby on the road.
"I don't think they believed us at first," Parker said.
At the hospital Parker gave the baby to a nurse and waited to find out her condition. He said the mother and family members came in screaming, "Where's my baby? Where's my baby?"
Parker said he was told the child was in the car with a relative who had stopped on McCaleb road to help change a flat tire and she wandered away from the car.
Parker was interviewed by a representative with the Louisiana Department of Social Services before leaving the hospital.
The child was released from the hospital and turned over to her mother, according to reports.
Winnsboro Police Chief Lester Thomas said the child was with a relative who was babysitting, and not with her mother. The relative put the child in a car without a car seat and buckled her in with a seatbelt, according to Thomas.
Thomas said the door beside the child did not close all the way and the child wiggled out of the seatbelt and slipped out the door when the car stopped.
"The relative should have had a car seat," Thomas said.
He said the family realized the child was missing and was looking for her.
"I'm just grateful that the two young men were paying attention," Thomas said.
Thomas said the department of social services investigated the incident. No charges have been filed.