SANTA ANA — When Police Cpl. William Barrett and Officer Marty Burns pulled over a speeding car early Wednesday they had no idea why its driver and three passengers were in such a hurry--until they approached the sedan and saw that a fifth occupant was on his way.
"I took one look inside and could tell there wasn't time to boil water," said Barrett, who helped deliver a healthy baby boy in the front seat of the late model Buick.
The birth occurred shortly after 12:40 a.m. when the officers stopped the driver at 1400 W. 17th St. after he ran a red light at Flower Street.
" . . . We . . . saw that the mother . . . was in a very advanced stage of labor," Barrett said.
Burns grabbed an emergency blanket and a pair of rubber gloves from his car and threw them to Barrett so he could "play catcher," said Barrett, who had never delivered a baby before but had witnessed the birth of his two children.
Barrett said he was hoping that the paramedics Burns had called would arrive before he had to do anything, but little Salvadore Corral had other plans. The baby began making his entrance into the world.
"I just helped guide him out," Barrett said. "It was over in less then five minutes."
The paramedics arrived just in time to cut the umbilical cord and transport the baby, Salvadore, and his mother, Lourdes Corral, to UCI Medical Center in Orange.
"It was kind of nice seeing a life being brought into the world," Barrett said of his experience. "Most of the time, we see it leave so tragically."