Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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.

Mother delivers baby on Interstate 4, trooper assists 09/24/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 9:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay small businesses give Tampa B+ for regulatory climate

    Corporate

    In a recent survey about small business sentiments toward state and local government policies that affect them, Tampa Bay ranked at No. 25 out of 80 — a B+ overall.

    Tampa Bay ranked No. 25 out of 80 in a recent survey about how small business owners feel about state and local government policies that affect them. | [Times file photo]
  2. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  3. Seminole Heights murders: fear and warnings, but no answers

    Crime

    TAMPA — Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan elicited loud gasps from the crowd of about 400 who showed up at Edison Elementary School on Monday night to learn more about the string of unsolved killings that have left the southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood gripped by fear.

    Kimberly Overman, left, comforts Angelique Dupree, center, as she spoke about the death of her nephew Benjamin Mitchell, 22, last week in Seminole Heights. The Tampa Police Department held a town hall meeting Monday night where concerned residents hoped to learn more about the investigation into the three shooting deaths over 11 days in southeast Seminole Heights. But police could give the crowd at Edison Elementary School few answers. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Juvenile justice reform seen as help for teen car theft problem

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations has decided to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year.

    One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations, Faith & Action for Strength Together (FAST), voted Monday night to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year. FAST believes civil citations could help Pinellas County?€™s teen car theft epidemic by keeping children out of the juvenile justice system for minor offenses. [ZACHARY T. SAMPSON  |  Times]
  5. U.S. general lays out Niger attack details; questions remain (w/video)

    War

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Special Forces unit ambushed by Islamic militants in Niger didn't call for help until an hour into their first contact with the enemy, the top U.S. general said Monday, as he tried to clear up some of the murky details of the assault that killed four American troops and has triggered a nasty …

    Gen. Joseph Dunford said much is still unclear about the ambush.