A lorry driver has told of the terrifying moment he spotted a young boy walking alone alongside a dual-carriageway in Northampton in the middle of the night.
The 35-year-old was delivering Sainsbury's frozen food when he saw the youngster, who is thought to be aged between two and three, at around 1am on Thursday, December 28.
The little boy was said to be "freezing cold" and was carrying a pair of shoes when the Good Samaritan approached him on the A43 in Northampton.
The driver, of Grantham, Lincolnshire, picked up the tot, who was alone, and called the police.
The toddler was taken to the local police station, and was eventually reunited with his parents at around 4.45am.
The dad-of-one, who did not wish to be named, said: "At first I didn't know what it was.
"I saw something but didn't think anything of it.
"It was only when I went to move into the second lane and got closer that I realised what it was. I thought to myself: 'Oh my God, that's a child.'
"I put my hazards on and pulled over - I think my lorry frightened him as he started walking towards the island near the slip road.
"He cried when I picked him up, he was freezing cold, bless him.
"A car pulled into the junction but didn't seem too bothered when I told him what had happened, so I had to put him down while I called the police.
"When I told the police they kept asking me to repeat what I was saying as I don't think they could believe it was a child.
"I was asking him where his mummy and daddy were and whether he lived in the houses near the road.
"He just replied in baby talk, so I couldn't really tell.
"It is shocking, the shock hasn't sunk in. You never expect to see a child on the road.
"I dread to think what could have happened had I not have found him.
"Had he walked into the front of my lorry - I wouldn't have been able to stop in time.
"It was freezing so had he got lost, who knows what would have happened?
"At that age they know how to unlock doors.
"Mistakes happen and I bet they are amazing parents and are probably gutted about it.
"We don't know what happened but it is a wake-up call for me.
"I usually leave the key on the side, but from now on I will hang it up and make sure it is out of reach."
Northamptonshire Police have confirmed the child was found on the side of the road and reunited with his parents.
A spokesman for the force said: "We called out to Lumbertubs Lane in Northampton at 1.05am in relation to a child being found at the side of the road.
"We knocked on a number of houses nearby as part of our inquiries.
"We located the family and the child was reunited with his parents at 4.45am," the spokesman said.