As Aaron Helmuth sped toward the hospital with his pregnant wife Denise in the early hours of Nov. 11, he knew it was going to be a close call — even before he saw the lights of a police car in his rearview mirror.
“I was just driving fast, and finally I knew we weren’t going to make it, and by that time an officer was behind us,” Helmuth said. “Of course, that was a good thing.”
Robinson City Council members applauded that “good thing” Tuesday evening as the Helmuth family attended the city council meeting to help recognize Officer Travis Nice, a former paramedic, who successfully delivered the couple’s fifth child, Weston Sawyer. Nice was awarded a police commendation medal for his actions.
“When we got pulled over, I was just saying, ‘Oh, please, just let us go,’ ” Denise Helmuth said. “When the officer said he had a paramedic almost there, I just thought, ‘OK, let’s get this over with.’ ”
Robinson police Officer Brandon Hajek said he was on routine patrol shortly before 2:30 a.m. Nov. 11 when he spotted an SUV driving 84 mph in a 40 mph zone. Startled by the fast speed, Hajek initiated his emergency lights and attempted to stop the car as Nice, who was on duty nearby, began to travel behind Hajek for safety precautions.
As the officers continued, the vehicle later pulled over near Loop 340, and Aaron Helmuth stepped out of the car.
“He got out of the car with his hands up in the air, that was a little bit of a different story, especially with everything that has been going on lately in the country. I didn’t know what was going on,” Hajek said. “First thing I did when I saw him walking toward my car was to tell him, ‘Don’t walk toward my car,’ but then he asked if I knew how to deliver a baby.”
Hajek, a Robinson police officer for only six months, said he was not expecting that question. After realizing Denise Helmuth was in labor, Hajek called for Nice, a Robinson police officer for about 18 months, who was nearby.
“I went up to her and she explained that her water had already broken, so I just started timing out the contractions and how long they were lasting,” Nice said. “Brandon had already contacted (paramedics) and I’ve delivered babies before, but never as an officer.”
As emergency medical personnel arrived on scene, officers were able to move Denise Helmuth to the back of the vehicle. In a matter of a few minutes, Nice helped Denise Helmuth deliver a healthy baby boy.
“This is the first time I’ve met the baby . . . and gotten a chance to speak with the family officially. That night, they were thinking of other things,” Nice said. “Actually, he still has yet to give us his license.”
Aaron Helmuth said he never received a ticket for the speeding offense, but was happy for the successful delivery of his third son, the couple’s fifth child. Denise and Aaron Helmuth were also pulled over by police about four years ago on their way to the hospital to give birth to their youngest daughter, Elise.
The entire family thanked the officers and posed for photos as another keepsake for the 3-week-old baby.
“I am just so thankful for the officers,” Denise Helmuth said. “I will definitely tell him about this story when he gets older.”