Amidst Tragedy of Crash, A New Life Enters The World

On a particularly brutal Washington morning rush hour, tragedy struck several families, while bringing joy and life to another.  On Tuesday, the Washington, D.C. region saw two people die in a six car collision on the Washinbgton Beltway, I-495, in the Forrestville area, with several cars reportedly airborne in the crash. A third person was killed on Tuesday in the District of Columbia when a tractor trailer crashed into a driver on a dirt bike in Northeast Washington.

Amidst all this tragedy, a baby was born in her car, when the father and mother got snared in the traffic backup on New York Avenue, N.E., caused by the Washington crash.  Jeromeka Chappelle, 24, was in labor and on New York Avenue with her father driving to Washington Hospital Center about 6:30 a.m. Realizing they were caught in the backup, and with Jeromeka experiencing contractions, the father called 911.

According to the Washington Post, the recording on 911 showed that the dispatcher didn’t realize that they were in a car.  "What's your address?" the dispatcher asked.  "I'm not in an address. I’m on the call on my way to the hospital. The water done broke, and she said she feels the baby.”  A few minutes later, the father saw three officers, and tried to flag them down.  By then, a baby girl had entered the world, and the father blurted out "The baby just came out."  The baby was breathing and crying, a good sign.  An emergency crew arrived shortly thereafter and took mother and child to the hospital, where they are doing fine.

Despite the loss of three on the roadways in crashes on Tuesday, one young newborn girl arrived safely, and in a most unusual way. Fortunately, she is healthy, and the crashes and hours long backup on the Beltway did not cause her harm.  We wish we could say the same for the other, less fortunate drivers.

We wish the families of those who lost loved ones the best in this most difficult time.

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