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Baby on board: Driver refuses to stop for police as wife gives birth in car

Caught speeding, a dad-to-be refused to pull over when he saw the police lights flash behind him. His excuse? In the passenger seat sat his wife in the throes of childbirth. 

By Associated PressAssociated Press / March 19, 2013

A man in Iowa ignored police as he rushed his pregnant wife to the hospital. He was pulled over for speeding. In this photo, taken on Jan. 16, an officer looks at a computer monitor in his patrol car in Little Rock, Ark.

AP Photo/Danny Johnston

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IOWA CITY, Iowa

A man who was pulled over for speeding as he rushed his pregnant wife to the hospital said he was determined to keep going despite the police lights flashing behind him.

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Tyler Rathjen planned to keep going as his wife, Ashley, began giving birth to their son in the passenger seat. But a red light with heavy traffic finally forced him to stop.

"I should not stop, I'm not going to, I'm going to get to the hospital," Tyler Rathjen recalled thinking in an interview with Cedar Rapids TV station KCRG.

The baby's head and arms were already out by the time Iowa City Officer Kevin Wolfe reached the passenger door.

"We were all having a different experience," Wolfe said.

Ashley Rathjen gave birth to her third son, Owen, just blocks from Mercy Iowa City hospital on March 10.

"I kept saying: there's no break (in contractions) there's no break," she said. "He was coming at that time."

Wolfe helped with the final steps of delivery and then escorted the Williamsburg family to the hospital. His dashboard camera captured the episode.

Owen is now home with his parents and two brothers.

Ashley Rathjen said her newborn son will probably retell the story for years to come.

"I'm sure it will be a life story to tell everybody (about) how he made his grand entrance," she said.

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