El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Morse heard shouts for help, and within a minute, a baby was born in a car on the side of Marksheffel Road.
"Dispatch actually asked if I needed instructions, and I responded, 'No, the baby has already been born,'" said Morse, 54, smiling as he told the story Wednesday afternoon. "It was very exhilarating, to see new life like that."
Sam Roach and her fiance, Anthony Meek, knew they might not make it to the hospital when she went into labor. They said their home in Yoder is more than an hour from the nearest hospital.
"I asked the hospital, one of the times that I was here, 'If I do have the baby on the way or at home, what do we need to do for her?'" said Roach, 21, sitting in the hospital Wednesday. "They told us, you know, just keep her warm and, using one of those suction bulbs, clean out her nose first and then her eyes."
By lucky coincidence, Meek had been sent home early from work, so he could drive Roach and their firstborn daughter, who's nearly a year old, to the hospital in the car they share.
"We started driving in as quick as we could, but we just couldn't make it in time," said Meek, 22. "As we're coming up Marksheffel, we pull over to the side because she said, 'The baby's coming right now.'"
Shortly after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Morse was dealing with a traffic crash southbound on Marksheffel near U.S. 24 when Meek stopped his car northbound and called out for medical help.
"I could hear a woman screaming from the vehicle," Morse said. "She was sitting sideways in the passenger seat with her knees up, obviously about to give birth. At that time, the baby's head appeared. I informed dispatch that we were in the middle of an actual birth."
Iris Delilah was born quickly, Meek confirmed.
"After (my fiancee) told me to pull over because she said, 'I can't wait no more,' the first thing I did was jump out of the car," he said. "An officer was conveniently right there, so as I round the car, I'm like, 'You need to call an ambulance, if you could.' He comes over, and the first thing he sees is a baby coming, like already halfway out."
Soon Deputy Christin Stone arrived and helped the mother. She began working for the Sheriff's Office in 2014, but her prior training was as a certified nursing assistant.
Baby Iris is spending her first few days on oxygen in the neonatal intensive care unit at Memorial Hospital North, but her parents expect to take her home Thursday.
In more than a decade with the Sheriff's Office, Morse said, he had never helped deliver a baby on the job.
"To be honest with you, I didn't do a thing," he said. "Mr. Meek and Ms. Roach were the ones who did all the hard parts."
Contact Ellie Mulder: 636-0198