Phelps Hospital was the destination of a dramatic event that unfolded last Friday morning, when a tractor trailer carrying scrap metal flipped over on the Tappan Zee Bridge, resulting in the bridge’s closure in both directions. Among those stuck in the bridge traffic was a pregnant Rockland woman who was in labor and trying to get to Phelps.
Luckily, Ashley Larkin and her husband, Brian, got the attention of a state trooper on the bridge when he noticed Brian driving aggressively and honking his horn.
Photo: Brian, Ashley and their newborn baby Maudie
When the trooper realized that Ashley was in labor, he came immediately to their aid and tried to inch through traffic with the Larkins following behind. They made it to a certain point, but then could go no further, so the trooper coordinated with another trooper on the northbound side of the bridge to meet them. Then they actually lifted Ashley over the bridge barrier and placed her into the other trooper’s car. Meanwhile, the emergency crews got busy clearing away the metal debris that was strewn across the width of the bridge to make a path so the trooper’s car could get through.
The trooper then turned around and, driving against traffic, brought her to a gas station in Tarrytown, where Ashley was transferred into an ambulance. By the time the ambulance arrived at Phelps, Ashley told the EMS worker that she couldn’t make it into the hospital, so they closed the ambulance door and delivered the baby right in the Emergency Department parking lot! Maudie Emilia Larkin was born, safe and sound, at 10:55 am.
“It was surreal, something you’d see in the movies – the biggest traffic jam imaginable and my wife having strong contractions and nowhere to go,” said Brian, who said it was horrifying to have to remain on the bridge in his car as his wife was driven away. “I got there an hour later. We’re super grateful to everyone at Phelps, the state troopers, the EMTs, and our midwives.”