Woman gives birth on California freeway shoulder

Woman gives birth on California freeway shoulder

(The Orange County Register, Nick Agro/AP Photo)

5 photos
Save Story

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Marine Corps veteran Bolivar Vilchez was terrified as he helped his wife deliver their daughter on the side of a Southern California freeway.

The Orange County Register reports that 29-year-old Sandra Vilchez of Riverside County was on the way to her mother's home early Saturday when she delivered baby Savannah.

She was due Sept. 26, but because Sandra Vilchez had to have all three previous children induced after carrying them to full term she had not been worried about an early birth.

But after leaving their home in a neighboring county for the drive, the contractions began and grew stronger quickly.

"I told my husband, 'I think she's coming now,'" she said. As the 18-year Marine Corps veteran rushed down the road, her water broke.

Meanwhile their three kids, ages 6, 4, and 3, worried asked "is Savannah doing this to you?" Vilchez assured them, "We're fine, we're fine."

And it soon became clear the baby would not wait. As they drove onward, she said, "her head popped out."

Bolivar Vilchez, 35, swung across the freeway to its shoulder and ran to the passenger side of their Chevy Tahoe to help his wife. In seconds he had a fire emergency dispatcher on the phone and at the next contraction his newborn daughter's head in his hands.

Savannah was born at 4:21 a.m., measuring 11 pounds, 6 ounces, and 22 inches.

He checked to make sure the umbilical cord wasn't wrapped around the baby's neck and then placed her gently on his wife's chest.

Firefighters arrived soon afterward and helped cut the cord.

Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Shane Sherwood said roadside births are more common than thought. Another woman also gave birth on a different freeway shoulder last October.

Firefighters are trained annually on how to assist in a birth. Sherwood said he's helped deliver three children in his 20 years — one on the freeway and two in homes.

"It's a great feeling to be part of it," he said.


Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Most recent Family stories

Related topics

The Associated Press


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast