WALTON, Kansas – A college student just happened to be in the right place at the right time on Wednesday when he was driving on Highway 50 and noticed a 3-year-old crossing the road.
Now, that student is being hailed a hero.
Dakota Vaughn is a junior at Tabor College where he plays third base for their baseball team.
He says it’s not by chance that he just happened to be driving back to school when a little boy was wandering near the highway just before dark.
“This was not a coincidence,” Vaughn said. “This was God, definitely.”
The 3-year-old crossed the road and began running towards the train tracks.
“Luckily, the semi that was about a hundred feet behind him saw him, slowed down, let him cross and at this point, this is when I turned in,” Vaughn said.
According to the Harvey County Sheriff, the child’s mother left him at home with a 5-year-old, a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old who was watching over the group.
At some point the 3-year-old got out and crossed paths with Vaughn.
“He doesn’t know me. He doesn’t know where he’s at necessarily, so I tried to calm him down as much as possible and keep him calm until we reached the sheriff’s department,” he said.
Vaughn was returning from Wichita and after stopping on the side of the road, put the 3-year-old in his truck and immediately notified authorities.
He says the boy didn’t say anything, so Vaughn used the baseball gear in his truck to make him feel better.
“You know, ‘Hey, have you ever played sports? Have you ever played baseball?’ You know, I didn’t know and so he definitely clinched onto that baseball. He really held onto it,” Vaughn said.
Vaughn says he didn’t expect to get any recognition for his actions and just wanted to make sure the boy found his home.
But he says faith definitely played a role.
“(I’m) Always looking for the opportunity to serve others. You know, it’s always about what you can give back and not necessarily what you can get,” he said.
While authorities are still investigating the incident, the sheriff told us earlier today that he expects the children to be returned to their parents.