Friday, January 19, 2018
News Roundup

Mother delivers baby on Interstate 4, trooper assists

TAMPA — Latoya Desamour continued teaching until the contractions became too much.

Though the due date for her fourth child was Sunday, it appeared the baby wasn't going to wait. She drove home to Brandon on Tuesday morning from Summerfield Elementary in Riverview and set up a 12:15 p.m. appointment at St. Joseph's Hospital.

She didn't make it.

At 12:20 p.m., as her husband drove 90 mph on Interstate 4, Desamour gave birth in the front seat of their gray Chrysler Pacifica.

Her loud screams terrified her husband, Wiclef Desamour, 35, who didn't know whether to drive faster or stop.

"Pull over!" she yelled. He did, on the grassy median.

Wiclef spotted a Florida Highway Patrol trooper, who was investigating a traffic crash on I-4 near U.S. 301.

"The baby's here! The baby's here!" the father remembers yelling at the trooper, while wildly waving his arms.

Trooper Dennis Rich jumped over the median rail and pulled on gloves. By that point, the baby girl was letting out healthy cries. The trooper looked over the child, checked her breathing and sat her up on her mother's lap.

He assisted until paramedics arrived and whisked the family to the hospital.

The infant was perfectly healthy. Her name is Arabella.

Though troopers are law enforcement officers, they are trained to be first-responders in medical situations when necessary. Speaking through the agency's spokesman, Rich declined to talk to a reporter Tuesday, saying simply, "I was just doing my job."

Latoya Desamour, 34, and her husband add Arabella to their family, which also includes a 7-year-old daughter, 5-year-old son and 18-month-old daughter.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3433.

Comments

Want to buy into an exchanged-traded bitcoin fund? You might have a long wait

NEW YORK — It may be a while, if ever, before investors can buy an exchange-traded fund made up of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Federal regulators have a long list of questions they want answered before they’ll approve a digital currency fun...
Updated: 24 minutes ago

Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Criminal charges should finally wake up FSU fraternities to hazing’s dangers

Editorial: Criminal charges should finally wake up FSU fraternities to hazing’s dangers

The death last fall of a 20-year-old Florida State University fraternity pledge revealed pervasive dangerous behavior within the school’s Greek system. Andrew Coffey, a Pi Kappa Phi pledge, died from alcohol poisoning after an off-campus party, and a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Child psychologist weighs in on mom who charges 5-year-old ‘rent’

Child psychologist weighs in on mom who charges 5-year-old ‘rent’

A Georgia mother has gone viral for charging her 5-year-old "rent." Yup — the kid pays up for food, water, cable and electric, too.Essense Evans described in a Facebook post how she handles her daughter’s allowance. The post, written on Saturday, was...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Addicted to your smartphone? Now there’s an app for that

Did you text? Sorry, I can’t see messages right now. Arianna Huffington locked my phone.The media tycoon turned wellness entrepreneur wants to keep you out of your phone, too, with a new app called Thrive. Its goal is to make it cool for a generation...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Scott appoints prosecutor, Clearwater lawyer to Pinellas-Pasco judicial vacancies

Gov. Rick Scott appointed two Tampa Bay lawyers to fill judicial vacancies in the Pinellas-Pasco circuit, his office announced Friday.Christopher LaBruzzo, 42, is an assistant state attorney at the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office. A Tulane Uni...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Former youth football president accused of stealing $29,000 from Pinellas league

Former youth football president accused of stealing $29,000 from Pinellas league

PALM HARBOR — The former president of a local youth football league is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the group and using it in part to buy a mobile home.According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, deputies on Tuesday arrested L...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Crews Lake thespians overcome the odds

SPRING HILL — It’s 8:30 a.m. — "homeroom" period in school speak — when kids in the Crews Lake Middle School drama club file into an empty chorus room to begin rehearsing under the direction of language arts teacher Kristen Sykora. There’s only 25 m...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

ST. PETERSBURG — Tony Jannus’s history-making flight in an early seaplane — simultaneously as ungainly and graceful as a pelican on the wing — is what Mayor Rick Kriseman calls an "under-told and under-appreciated" story, but a team of local history ...
Updated: 2 hours ago