Through a tragic morning in the Chicago suburb of Cicero, a story of life has emerged. While Hector Morales and Katherine Engel were on their way to West Suburban Medical Center so Katherine could give birth early this morning, they were abruptly stopped due to a traffic jam stemming from a car that had caught fire with three people inside. With no other options but to turn into a gas station and hope for the contractions slow down, they were faced with the reality of having their baby in their van.
Birth in Traffic Jam
At around 5:30 a.m. this morning, calls began coming in that a car was on fire between Roosevelt Road and 14th Street in Cicero. The traffic jam forced Morales and Engel to pull into a gas station, where she gave birth to a healthy boy around 7:20 a.m. The baby is the couple's second child, so they had an idea of what to expect, but having a baby in a vehicle is something parents don't exactly hope for.
Thankfully, everything turned out OK for the couple and their new baby, and Morales had nothing but thanks for local help: "I do want to thank the Cicero Police and Fire Department. The 911 dispatch center guided us quickly and calmly."
Car Fire Turns Deadly
The cause of the car fire is under investigation. One person has died, and two badly injured people were pulled from the car. The survivors are currently in critical condition at Loyola Hospital following the incident.
Other Unusual Birth Stories
Morales and Engel have a crazy birth story to tell, but there are many other stories that are just as unexpected. Here are a few:
Zachary and Jennifer Russell were driving to the hospital in Texas last January when their baby decided to greet them after one push. Making this story even crazier was the video that Zachary took of the birth while he was driving.
Amber Miller is another Chicago mom who became a national headline after running the Chicago Marathon at almost 39 weeks pregnant in October 2011. As she crossed the finish line, she began to feel contractions. Hours later, she had safely delivered her baby.
Then, there's the woman who gave birth on a wildlife path at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York, in December. Liz Schmidt, a zoo educator, was rushed to the woman's side after learning she was giving birth on a sidewalk. Other zoo workers covered the mom and baby with blankets until they were transported to a hospital.