Dean gives birth on side of Slaton Highway

Dedra Dean pictured with her baby boy Zaid who was birthed on the side of the Slaton Highway on Feb. 26, 2020.

On Wednesday morning, Feb. 26, Dedra Dean of Post went into labor.

With her contractions just minutes apart, Dean attempted to make her way to a Lubbock hospital. However, she didn’t anticipate the baby coming so fast.

“As my water was breaking, I could feel his head coming out,” Dean said.

With her sister driving the car, they were forced to pull over just north of Slaton on Highway 84. Dean’s mother, who was riding in the car behind the two sisters, immediately called 9-1-1.

“My daughter is in active labor,” Dean’s mother says in the phone call. “They just called me, and the baby is coming out.”

Officer Tommy Higgins of the Slaton Police Department responded to the call. However, Higgins said by the time he got to the car; baby Zaid was already born.

“They didn’t give much information, so I didn’t really know what to expect,” Higgins told KCBD. “I just knew someone was in labor and a baby was possibly on the way or there was already a baby-to-go.”

Officer Higgins said his priority was keeping everyone safe while waiting for the EMS to arrive.

“Them being on the highway, people are going 75 miles an hour, someone might get hit,” he said. “So, I got out there. I pulled up as fast as I could, got my lights on, to try to keep us all safe.”

Slaton Police Chief Trevor Barnes applauded Higgins for the way he handled the situation.

“Nobody taught him in the academy how to deliver a baby,” he said.

Higgins, also pleased with his work, called it the scariest moment in his career thus far.

“They both seemed very happy and everyone was safe,” he said. “There were no problems that I could see with my limited training. That made me very happy.”

In fact, Zaid was born at a healthy six pounds and five ounces.

As for Dean, she couldn’t believe what happened.

“It’s like something you see in a movie,” she said. “I was in shock.”

Dean said she is very happy and thankful for the way everyone responded including the EMS team and Higgins.

“I would like to thank Officer Higgins for his quick response time and his bravery,” she said. “I know that’s something that you cannot prepare for.”

Dean and Zaid have since returned home where they are surrounded by loving family and friends including Zaid’s 14-month-old brother Axton and father Keaton Hollins.

“I’m glad he’s here,” Dean’s mother Amber said, “but he gave this LaLa, his mommy and his Aunt Alyssa a few anxiety attacks with his arrival!”

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