Baby Tommy born on hard shoulder of M42 motorway after police answer call
A baby boy was born on the hard shoulder of a motorway after his expectant mother got stuck in traffic after a fuel spill.
The father-to-be made a frantic 999 call just before 5.30pm on Saturday to say his wife was about to give birth and needed help as they were stuck in five-mile queues on the M42 east of Birmingham.
Pc James Barry and his colleague rushed down the hard shoulder to help the family but by the time they arrived, just minutes after the call, the mother had delivered a boy, Tommy, and was sitting in the back of her Vauxhall Zafira cradling her new son - born between junctions nine and eight of the motorway.
Pc Barry, from the Central Motorway Policing Group (CMPG), said: "By the time we arrived mum had done all the hard work and we there to make sure everyone was OK.
"The family were driving home on the motorway and had got caught up in traffic following a diesel spillage.
"The lady, who already has two sons aged two and four, who were in the car at the time, suddenly went into labour which was a complete shock as the baby wasn't due for another three weeks."
Pc Barry said the woman, who has not been named, gave birth to her baby on the back seat of the car, her two older sons next to her and "as happy as Larry that they had a little brother".
He said: "Mum was in a little bit of pain, which is understandable, but everything else was perfect.
"We did everything we could to comfort her and distract the lads from getting wound up in the back of the car, and also to keep dad calm and make sure nothing was going on on the side of the motorway.
"The husband did the right thing and pulled over onto the hard shoulder and called us for help.
"She delivered him all on her own. She was only in labour for 20 or 30 minutes, so she has done really well. She had just finished up when we got there and had gotten him into a blanket."
An ambulance struggled to get through the tailbacks so Pc Barry and his colleague drove the family's car down the hard shoulder to where paramedics were waiting at the nearby National Motorcycle Museum.
Pc Barry said: "I have only been on the motorway group for eight months. Every day is different but this one is perhaps going to stick in my mind for a while.
"It was lovely to receive a photo of the baby, named Tommy, and we are glad that they are all doing well."
Tommy's grandfather, Terry Kemp, spoke about the unexpected arrival on Facebook.
He posted on Saturday: "Stuck in a car park on the M42 and my new grandson has just been born on the hard shoulder. Chuffed.com."
He added: "G ot my old ticker going again, but mom and baby are doing well."