‘It was intense’: Baby born on Highway 19 as sinkhole backs up traffic for hours

WatchA Vancouver Island woman gave birth to a healthy baby girl on the side of Highway 19 on Friday. Skye Ryan has the story.

Kyle Aplin was feeling pressure like he’d never felt before as he rushed to get his pregnant wife, Kelsey, to a Nanaimo hospital on Friday.

That pressure only began to mount when the couple encountered traffic along Highway 19 that stretched as far as the eye could see after flood waters opened up a sinkhole in the road and closed it in both directions.

“It was intense,” said Kelsey. “Not one I want to do again, I’ll tell you that.”

The Whisky Creek couple had set out for Nanaimo hospital early, they thought, as the 36-year-old’s labour started, worried about the traffic jams from the sinkhole, but the backup was way more than expected.

“I thought, I was silly to be leaving so soon but everybody’s like there’s a lineup,” said Kelsey.

About half-way to the hospital, in the barely inching along lineup of cars, the pressure became so much the couple called for an ambulance, and the baby started coming as dad-to-be Kyle was coached through the labour by a 911 dispatcher.

“So she was like grab some shoe laces, towels and blankets and you were like what. But then the paramedics showed up right after,” said Kyle.

Kelsey had already given birth to two babies before so she knew that contractions could come on fast. But she said she never expected to deliver her baby by the roadside.

“Everybody said the third baby comes fast but yeah I didn’t think that fast,” said Kelsey.

Two ambulances made it just in time, where parked on the highway through Nanoose the couple welcomed their baby girl, Riley Jayne, into the world.

“Right there as soon as she got out of the vehicle,” said Kyle.

The rosy cheeked baby was delivered healthy, one week early on the side of Highway 19 — a tiny but beautiful silver lining in a storm filled week.

Kyle and Kelsey Aplan. Kelsey gave birth to a healthy baby girl on the side of Highway 19 on Friday. The couple had been on their way to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital when they encountered traffic along the busy highway due to the sinkhole. (Skye Ryan/CHEK News)

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