Baby girl born on A1(M) hard shoulder

IT was certainly an express delivery when Ocado Hatfield delivery worker Darren Munns' car became the unlikely maternity suite when his daughter was born on the front seat! He was just south of junction nine on the A1(M) taking his partner Ashley Welch to

IT was certainly an express delivery when Ocado Hatfield delivery worker Darren Munns' car became the unlikely maternity suite when his daughter was born on the front seat!

He was just south of junction nine on the A1(M) taking his partner Ashley Welch to Lister Hospital on Thursday morning.

She had gone into labour with their third child less than an hour earlier when time finally ran out and he had to pull over on to the hard shoulder.

Minutes later Ashley gave birth to Darcie while Darren waited for an ambulance crew to arrive.


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"We had just gone past the Letchworth Gate turn when Ashley told me to pull over," said Darren, 26, who lives with Ashley and their two other children Reece, who was one on the day Darcie was born, and Alfie, four, in Biggleswade.

"There was no time to make it to Lister and when I looked down the baby's head was coming out. It all happened so quickly.

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"It was the most traumatic drive I have ever done and one I don't want to do again.

"But Ashley was calm and Darcie was born as the traffic went past."

Mother and baby, who weighed a bouncing 7lbs 14 oz, were eventually taken to the Stevenage hospital by ambulance where they were examined and found to be none the worse for their dramatic ordeal.

"My waters had broken the previous evening and Darren had taken me to Lister Hospital but they sent me home," said Ashley, 24.

"It was all very traumatic. I started having contractions and we left home at 8.45am. At just after 9am I couldn't hold on any more and pulled my trousers down and the head had already started coming out.

"Labour lasted less than an hour and all of a sudden I was sitting back in the front seat of our car with our baby daughter.

"If there is a next time I will make sure we leave home in plenty of time."

Today (Monday), the couple made a more sedate journey back down the A1 to the ambulance headquarters at Letchworth Gate to say a big thank you to the staff who helped them, paramedics Jo Chapman and Carol Hubbert.

East of England Ambulance Service spokesman Gary Sanderson said: "It was very nice of Ashley and Darren to bring their family to meet up with the ambulance crew who helped them out last Thursday.

"They brought a bunch of flowers and chocolates for Carol and her crewmate Jo, who unfortunately, had just finished a nightshift so was unable to attend the meet up

"There are not many occasions when our crews assist or deliver a baby on the hard shoulder of a busy motorway. And the crew were taken by surprise when they were called to this incident.

He added: "Thankfully all went well and baby Darcie was certainly an A1 delivery.

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