As a dedicated video gamer, it can be safely assumed that Ohio man Doyle Higgins has seen many an alarming and potentially deadly scenario on screen. But now he has a life-or-death situation from reality that he can watch whenever the mood takes him, thanks to his dash-mounted camera. The 46-year-old was driving in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, in spring 2016, when an unexpected sight in his windshield forced him to brake. The gamer was utterly shocked to see a toddler standing right in the middle of the busy road ahead – and for the wee one it was almost game over.
On Saturday, April 23, 2016 Higgins and his wife, Nancy, were returning home after a grocery shopping trip to their local Kroger. It was a sunny spring afternoon, and it can only be presumed that their journey by Jeep through Cincinnati had gone without a hitch. At least it may have done until they turned that fateful corner into Fehr Road in the Delhi Township.
The exact time of the turning maneuver is recorded for posterity on the footage from Higgins’ recently purchased dash-cam. He was road-trialling the technology, but little did the driver know that the resulting images would test the nerves of so many parents. Indeed, when Higgins subsequently uploaded the sequence to YouTube it would send shivers down the spines of moms and dads worldwide.
The driver, using his alias of Mr. Bulldozer Gaming, posted the clip on the day of the incident. It opens with the turn on to Fehr Road, and then we notice a tiny dark mass where it should not be – in the middle of the road. The footage continues as the car approaches the mystery object, and it quickly becomes clear that it is in fact a very small child. The car comes to an abrupt halt as presumably the shocked Higgins fully take in what they are seeing.
In a news item broadcast the following Tuesday, Higgins spoke to local TV channel FOX19. He told reporter Michael Baldwin that it took Nancy and himself a few moments to process what was going on. “I had to actually look at the baby three times,” he admitted. “I could not believe what I was seeing.”
Nevertheless, the dash-cam footage rolls on and we can see what Higgins did next. He leaps from his car and makes his way down the suburban road towards the child. The toddler seemingly has no idea of the peril that she is in. In fact, at one point, the infant even starts waving happily to Higgins and his wife.
Mercifully, however, other drivers have also spotted the tiny obstacle by this point, and cars on the opposite side of the road have also come to a stop. This lessens the risk to the baby and Higgins, who is soon within reaching distance of her. The concerned adult later claimed that he was calling out to the rows of houses on either side of the road, hoping to rouse the little girl’s guardians.
Indeed, Higgins recalled the scene to Fox19. “So I got out of our vehicle and I walk down to the toddler,” he said. “And I’m screaming the whole time down there, ‘Whose baby is this? Whose baby is this?’ And nobody ever comes out.”
The dash-cam clip then shows Higgins reach the little mite and scoop her up. The gamer scores countless points by carrying the little girl safely to the side of the road. As he does so, a panic-stricken woman emerges running from an adjacent house and takes the toddler into her arms. It turned out that the no doubt grateful woman was the baby’s mom.
Reportedly, the mom had explained to Higgins how her infant had ended up in the middle of the road. The guardian said that the last thing she knew was that her baby girl had been safely asleep. The presumably immensely relieved parent had no idea that her wee one had escaped and then gone walkabout until she heard Higgins’ cries.
It was then that the mom rushed out of her house to check if it was her toddler in trouble. “Apparently the baby was taking a nap, and the baby got out of the house,” Higgins relayed to Fox19. “I don’t know how the baby got out of the house, but again, things happened.”
And Higgins firmly believes that the little girl had a massive piece of luck to escape her traffic adventure unscathed. “I see people on a regular basis driving around with their cell phone in their hands,” he told the news cameras. “And Fehr Road is known for people speeding down the road.”
A relieved Higgins added, “If someone would have made that turn, and just gunned their car, looking at their cell phone… As small as that baby is, chances are they wouldn’t have even seen that child.” But thankfully, the gamer was able to rescue the toddler before any harm could be done.
Even though he had managed to return the toddler safely to her mom, Higgins felt that he should cover himself and still report the incident. Consequently, law officers from the Delhi Police Department arrived at the Fehr Road scene in a matter of minutes.
In Michael Baldwin’s news item, the reporter revealed that the local cops were looking into the episode. The Delhi Police would then pass their findings over to the district prosecutor’s office. However, it is unclear what happened next, and it is not known what actions – if any –were taken against the mom.
Nevertheless, that was not the end of the story. Higgins’ encounter with the toddler shook him so much that he took the decision to release his dash-cam footage on YouTube. He hoped it would lead other guardians to become more vigilant over their children’s whereabouts.
In the video description, Mr. Bulldozer Gaming wrote, “This baby could [have] got hit or taken and they would not [have had] had a clue.” In a warning to all parents, he added, “People, I don’t care what you are doing – know where your kids are. It only takes a second and your kids can be gone or worse – DEAD.”
Higgins was eager to stress that he had not posted the footage in order to shame the child’s mother. “The purpose of this video is to shock people so maybe they will pay more attention to their kids,” he said. “Many people are too [wrapped] up in their lives from cell phones and other things. When you have kids, and definitely as little as this one, that is the ONLY THING you should be worrying about.”
And it seems that Higgins’ pleas have resonated with YouTube users. Since he posted the terrifying footage in 2016, almost 175,000 viewers have seen it and more than 300 have commented. The vast majority of these messages expressed gratitude that Higgins had bravely intervened to save the little girl.
Indeed, while compiling his news item, Fox19’s Baldwin referred to Higgins as a hero. However, the Cincinnati man did not agree with the term. “I don’t consider myself a hero,” Higgins told the reporter. “The heroes are our veterans who go and fight for this country, those are the heroes. Those are the ones that should get the daily thank yous, and they don’t.”