The Holland Tunnel, between New Jersey and New York City, was an unlikely entrance to the world for a newborn on Monday. The mother and her healthy daughter are resting at the Jersey City Medical Center.
Ying Chen, 21, and Kai Tang, the baby's father, had planned to ride the bus from Philadelphia to their Brooklyn home following a visit with a cousin. But Chen went into labor overnight, prompting a relative to instead drive them to the hospital.
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Rush hour traffic prevented them from getting to a New York City hospital in time. They were forced to stop near the Holland Tunnel toll booths to ask for help, according to The Jersey Journal
Port Authority Police Officers Luis Alvarado and Catherine Prior began first aid and called for an ambulance. Certified EMT Matthew Smith arrived and aided the back-seat delivery.
Chen was taken to the nearby hospital, where staff suggested the name "Holly" for the girl, who arrived eight days early and weighed 5 pounds and 15 ounces, the Journal said.
"I was very worried and it was a good thing that Port Authority police officers got there on time," Chen told The Jersey Journal through interpreter Chi-Yuan Chang. "The only thing I was thinking about was that my baby would be born safely."
The couple is doing well, and Chen is expected to return home in a few days.
"Everything is OK," Chen said. "The most important thing is my daughter is safe."
The tunnel, which runs under the Hudson River, was completed in 1927.
It has served as a makeshift delivery room on a separate occasion less than a year ago. On Dec. 26, 2012, Nassim Mohammed Elkarhat was born six weeks early, at 6 pounds, 9 ounces, and was delivered by Port Authority Bridge And Tunnel Agent George McCann.
The parents, Abdel and Soukaina, were en route to Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn when the baby's head started crowning. When the child stopped breathing, Holland Tunnel officials constructed a makeshift oxygen tent to save the baby's life, according to CBS.
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