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Florida deputy helps deliver baby after chance encounter at traffic light

Family waved at deputy to get his attention yelling, 'Labor! Labor!'

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POLK COUNTY, Fla. – It may have been luck, fate, or even a Christmas miracle that the Rodriguez and Herrera families pulled up at a red light next to a Polk County sheriff's deputy Adam Pennell the minute they realized they weren't going to make it on time to the hospital to deliver their baby.

The family was scrambling to get to the hospital after many delays and changes in their hospital plans. It was at the red light on U.S. 27 in Lake Wales near the RaceTrac gas station that Linda, the woman in labor, realized the baby was coming then and there--whether she liked it or not.

In a state of panic, she looked out of her window and saw Deputy Pennell sitting in his patrol car next to her. She then began to frantically bang on the car windows, shouting "Labor! Labor!" until Pennell realized what was happening. 

"Deputy Pennell, at first wondering what in the world this lady could be yelling about, realized his day on patrol was about to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Polk County officials wrote on Facebook.

Pennell was able to get the car to the turn lane and positioned his patrol vehicle to protect it. He quickly summoned EMS to their location as he put on latex gloves to help deliver the child.

The baby, named Isabella, arrived in the hands of her grandmother, Josefina. Josefina realized the cord was wrapped around the baby's neck and was able to quickly unwrap it. Soon after, Isabella let out a cry, while the family and Pennell let out a sigh of relief. 

Isabella was taken to the hospital, where nurses said she was in "perfect health." The family went home the next day.

"We just feel blessed that everything happened just as it did," officials with the sheriff's department wrote on Facebook. "You may not believe in miracles, but we sure do."