A heroic police officer jumped into action as he spotted a young child running along an Illinois highway as cars zipped past.
It was a heart-stopping moment as Sgt. Anthony Mannino, a 24-year veteran of the Naperville Police Department, saw the boy wandering onto Route 59, just inches away from speeding traffic.
The officer said he immediately slammed on his breaks.
"I initially thought it was a dog at-large about to run into the street," Mannino said.
He quickly realized, however, it was actually a small child.
In a video of the pulse-pounding rescue, Mannino is seen jumping out of his vehicle to get the child.
Mannino's sense of urgency increased as he chased the child, with cars speeding by.
“I was praying to God he wouldn’t make a left turn to enter that lane of traffic," Mannino said. "I just wanted to get to him quickly and make sure he had no opportunity to move."
Once he was able to grab the boy, he can be heard telling him, "You’re okay, you’re okay."
The little boy had gotten away from his mom and shortly after he was rescued she arrived on the scene and was visibly shaken.
"It could have definitely had a very tragic ending," Mannino added.
Mannino was honored with a Life Saving Award from the police department Friday.
“Well done, Sergeant,” the police department wrote on their page.