Sheriff's deputy delivers baby in parking lot of California car wash

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy helped deliver a baby girl in the parking lot of a Santa Clarita car wash on Wednesday morning.

Mariela Ruiz was supposed to give birth at the hospital, but her newborn forced a change in plans. Ruiz and her husband were on the road at about 6:30 a.m. when they realized they were out of time so they pulled up next to L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy Roger Bertola.

"He goes, 'She's having a baby, she's having a baby,' I'm like, 'Oh, OK,' so I turned on my lights on my car and blocked traffic and had them pull into a little car wash," Bertola said.

"I go up and talk to her and she's in the middle of a contraction. I said, 'You want the seat back? Is there anything I can do for you real quick? You want a hand to squeeze?' And she's like, 'No I want nothing, just leave me alone. I don't want anything.'"

Bertola radioed for paramedics, but moments later Ruiz told him the baby was on the way.

"It started coming out and I started to guide it and rotate its shoulders and one push, it was out," he said.

Bertola wiped the newborn down, tapped her on the back and she started crying.

"It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Ruiz said.

The mother and newborn named Lexie were transported to Henry Mayo Hospital in good condition.

Bertola, a father of three, visited the Ruiz family at the hospital Wednesday evening.

"In law enforcement, in light of everything that's going on and all the bad experiences we have, it's great to have a spectacular moment like that where you get to see the miracle of life," he said.
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