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Oct-17-2008 17:45printcomments

Woman Gives Birth on Side of Oregon's I-205 Freeway (AUDIO)

West Linn Police respond to I-205 south on an emergency child birth.

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - There was a different type of excitement on Interstate-205 around 3:45 this morning when a woman went into labor in a car moving down the freeway.

West Linn Police Spokesman Sgt. Neil Hennelly, says officers Pat McConnell and Ed Friend received a call from dispatch of a motorist having a baby on I-205 south near the Stafford Road interchange.

"The officers arrived within 3 minutes, however Olivia Grace had already been born," Hennelly said. Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue arrived a short time later and checked out the child and her mother. Both were transported to Meridian Park Hospital, and they are doing fine. Hennelly says they were headed for the birthing center near Meridian Park.

"This was this mom's fifth child, she came through very well and they were doing fine when our officers left the scene, you can hear the baby crying in the background on the audio recording, and that is like magic to the ears." He says emergency personnel had some trouble finding the car at first because the 911 caller, the baby's new aunt, had to run to the closest sign to get a location fix for the dispatchers.

Hennelly told Salem-News that in his 19 years with the West Linn Police, he has seen similar things happen before, explaining that the city sits between Meridian Park Hospital in Tualatin, and the Willamette Falls hospital in Oregon City. "But actually having a baby born on the freeway, that is a a rarity," he said.

Like all police throughout the country, West Linn officers are trained in basic first-aid. Of course Hennelly says that does not prepare them for babies being born on the side of the interstate.

"When it comes to medical training, they have a little bit; basic first aid skills, that sort of thing. A big plus was that both of the officers who responded were dads. That was better than having a couple of rookies show up, you could say they arrived with a couple of extra tools in the box," Hennelly joked.

He laughed while recounting an earlier prank, "My daughter is pregnant, so I emailed her and told her, 'Don't let this happen to you.'" It was a light moment for the West Linn officers and Hennelly says he is always thankful when stressful situations like this lead to a positive outcome.

FOX-12 in Portland reported this afternoon that the baby girl weighed seven pounds, nine ounces. "Pretty good sized baby" Hennelly said. "I wish we could report positive things like this more often, but every now and then something comes along and everything works out well and it's a nice change from some of the things we have to respond to".

Here is the audio clip of the 911 call:


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Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Bruce Macdonald May 24, 2012 7:33 pm (Pacific time)

Hi. I am the father of the baby born in this story. I'd like to comment to those who posted earlier. We were not poor, and did not drive to the hospital out of destitution. We were on our way to a Waterbirthing center, where we were paying out of our own pocket for the delivery. This happened to be my wife's 5th labor, and as such she had been having shorter late stage delivery and less intense early stage labor. Our last one was about twelve minutes of hard labor. Anyways, perhaps you shouldn't be so quick to assume without all of the information. Thanks, Proud Father

justme October 21, 2008 2:47 pm (Pacific time)

dahlia, just for your information, nothing is free anymore. If you have insurance, they pay; if you don't, the taxpayer picks up the "free ride". Maybe women should learn to go to the hospital early enough to have the baby in the hospital.

Henry Clay Ruark October 18, 2008 11:25 am (Pacific time)

N-S: You wrote:"What really costs us taxpayers is when people have babies they cannot afford," Whaat do you recommend " Perhaps complete sterilization of all possible perpetrating couples ? Sounds like 19th Century outdated philosophy of "eugenics", right ? OR is that RIGHT ? Simple, reasonable, workable, proven single-payer healthcare as in Europe is answer here, too. What you wrote re general status in European nations with this plan is distorted, and where applicable at all in any way better than U.S., is due to worldwide conditions forced on all nations by the outmoded neocon policies of which this is reflection, too. That's factual; if in doubt, ID self to Editor for direct, and I'll prove it via PDFs, clips, publications, books, et al, from 30 year working file. Meanwhile be sure to keep your healthplan fully paid, not everyone can do so in this unfortunate world situation forced on us all by neocon rule over past 40 years in U.S., with consequences now worldwide as continuing credit crisis everywhere surely doth prove in detail unto death.

Non-Socialist October 18, 2008 9:45 am (Pacific time)

Free?! Now that's why practically every European country has high unemployment rates and stagnant economies, because nothing is free, except for those who labor not. American women, poor, rich or inbetween all get superior prenatal and post delivery care compared to the rest of the world. What really costs us taxpayers is when people have babies they cannot afford, so the rest of us get stuck with the bill. In some cases it's generation after generation after generation, ad nauseum.

dahlia October 18, 2008 12:14 am (Pacific time)

as long as health care and especially ambulance remain beyond reach for working poor, women will drive themselves to the hospital and have babies on freeway. What a shame. I came from Europe and when I was having a baby, I called ambulance and was delivered to the hospital. I was charged nothing. It is free.

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