As he got closer, he realized what he saw in the road was a 2-year-old boy wearing only a soiled diaper. The driver stopped his truck and approached the small child.
Although it was not cold, the child was shivering and covered in mosquito bites.
Smith covered up the toddler with his jacket and put him in his truck and called the authorities and waited with him until they showed up.
According to WTSP 10 News, 21-year-old Isaiah McGrif was supposed to be taking care of the child at the time of his disappearance. McGrif was charged with neglect.
The toddler had wandered a quarter of a mile from his home.
“I’m just glad it turned out well,” said Smith, who pointed out that he found the child not far from an intersection that would get very busy once rush hour began. “There’s a lot of woodland there. There’s no telling what kinds of animals, snakes and such might be out there.”
For his efforts, Smith was awarded the Truckload Carriers Association Highway Angel award.
The Highway Angel program is sponsored for TCA by Internet Truckstop. Since the program’s inception in August 1997, hundreds of drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job. TCA has received letters and e-mails from people across North America nominating truck drivers for the program.