Illinois State Troopers deliver baby boy on highway


A pair of Illinois State Troopers are receiving praise for delivering a baby boy along the side of a highway on Sunday.

According to the ISP, Trooper Edgar Valden De Leon and Trooper Michael Vodicka were conducting a traffic stop on I-57 near 111th Street around 12:08 a.m., when a car driven by Roland Watkins pulled in front of them.

Watkins told the troopers that his sister, Stacey, was in active labor, police say.

It took about ten minutes for the troopers to deliver baby Smothers into the world.

On Monday afternoon, Trooper Valdez De Leon stopped by the hospital to visit the family.

“I never thought I would get the opportunity to deliver a baby on the side of the road so early in my career with the Illinois State Police,” he said. “It was a highly stressful situation, but because of the First Responder training I received at the Illinois State Police Academy, I was confident enough to use the training I received and put it to good use, which led to a successful outcome.”

Trooper Valdez De Leon is a one year veteran with the Illinois State Police and a current Sergeant in the United States Army Reserves.  He is also 16-year veteran of the United States Army and United States Marine Corps. 

Trooper Vodicka is an 8 1/2 year veteran with the Illinois State Police.

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