THOMAS COUNTY, Ga. — A Thomas County family was never more happy to see a state trooper than on the day their baby was preparing to make a quick entrance into the world.
Trooper First Class Nick Johnson with the Georgia State Patrol was in the median on GA 38 on Sunday afternoon when he clocked a car traveling nearly 90 miles per hour towards him.
As he prepared to pull them over, he witnessed something unusual. The car actually slowed down and pulled over next to him. The driver had a frantic message for Johnson.
“Hey, can you help me, my wife is in labor right now. He said they didn’t think they were going to make it," Johnson said.
The trooper then heard the driver's wife scream in pain and immediately called for EMS. The husband and Johnson tried to comfort the wife, grabbing her water, and trying to make her as comfortable as possible.
But it wasn't long before the husband ran back over to Johnson's driver side window.
“He said 'I see the head coming out.' By the time I walked over, the baby was already out. It was kind of like a whoa moment, but then EMS arrived. It was eventful," Johnson said with a laugh.
The trooper has been with the Georgia State Patrol for two years and this is his first law enforcement assignment - currently with Post 12 in Thomasville. It's not, however, his first foray into helping or watching childbirth.
“I’d had this experience twice before. Just not on the road," said Johnson, a father of three.
Johnson said he was grateful the family pulled over when they saw him because he knew they wouldn't have made it to the hospital.
“Looking at the time that it took, it was about eight to nine minutes and I knew for a fact where the hospital was in Thomas County - it was probably another 20 to 25-minute drive," he said. "Just the day before, around the same time, I was working a fatal accident, so in a split second, your life can change for the good or bad. I’m glad he stopped because traveling at that rate of speed and you have that situation going on, I’ve seen it many times, something could have gone totally wrong.”
Out of respect for their privacy, Johnson is giving the family a few days before he checks on them in the hospital. But, he said he'll be forever grateful to take a small part in the baby's birth.
“The chance that we were in the same place at the same time, God works in mysterious ways," he said. "Things that could have went wrong and I'm just lucky I was there. I wouldn’t look at myself as a hero, but I know my children look at me as that, so whether I’m a hero to that family or children, that’s a blessing in its own.”