A baby girl who was born Wednesday morning on the side of Interstate 79 in Kennedy Township is doing fine, according to hospital officials.
Marcus Thomas was driving just before 9 a.m. Wednesday when his wife, Erika Garcia, began going into labor while sitting in the front seat.
“I didn’t expect it to happen the way it did,” Garcia said. “I was yelling, screaming and telling him she was coming.”
Thomas eventually pulled off the highway and into a small, open area and delivered the baby inside the car. The couple’s two children were in the backseat at the time.
“I was glad I could do what I could do, and the ambulance got there in time, and they were able to help me out. I’m very thankful,” Thomas said. “It’s just overwhelming right now. I delivered a baby with no medical background.”
Thomas joked and said he and his wife considered naming the baby Kennedy, since she was born in Kennedy Township. However, the couple decided on Catalaya.
The baby girl, who Garcia calls her “Interstate 79 baby,” was immediately rushed to St. Clair Hospital. Officials said the baby, Garcia and Thomas are all doing fine.
“I’ve been waiting for her for a long time. I wanted to have a girl so bad,” Garcia said. “I was crying for a while. I just wanted to make sure she was OK.”
The newborn’s grandmother, Stephanie Jones, said her 7-year-old grandson, Marcus Thomas Jr., assisted his father in delivering the baby.
“I held the baby’s hand and my dad put the hoodie on then he tied the string,” Thomas Jr. said.
The family members said they are thankful for the girl they are calling their "miracle baby.”