Why wait? Baby arrives in truck

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  • Haley Johnson looks down at her baby while sitting in the spot where she just gave birth, in the cab of a pickup truck driven by her husband, Cody. Kootenai Health employees met the new family in the parking lot when they arrived at the hospital. (Courtesy photo)

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    Berkley Mae Johnson was born in a pickup truck Monday as her parents were racing to get to Kootenai Health for her delivery. Courtesy photo

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    Cody Johnson holds his new daughter at Kootenai Health. (Courtesy photo)

  • Haley Johnson looks down at her baby while sitting in the spot where she just gave birth, in the cab of a pickup truck driven by her husband, Cody. Kootenai Health employees met the new family in the parking lot when they arrived at the hospital. (Courtesy photo)

  • 1

    Berkley Mae Johnson was born in a pickup truck Monday as her parents were racing to get to Kootenai Health for her delivery. Courtesy photo

  • 2

    Cody Johnson holds his new daughter at Kootenai Health. (Courtesy photo)

Everything in Berkley Mae Johnson’s life has happened in double-time.

Then again, she is barely a day old.

The baby girl, the daughter of Haley and Cody Johnson, was born Monday morning in the fast lane of Interstate 90 while heading east in a Chevy Silverado pickup truck near the Huetter rest area.

Her dad, who was behind the wheel with his foot on the gas, isn’t real sure about the location.

“He was near there, going 90 mph,” said Berkley’s grandmother, Shaunda Johnson.

Grandma was on the phone with staff at Kootenai Health early Monday to let them know her son and daughter-in-law were heading over from Post Falls like a blue streak.

The couple, who were expecting their first child, had been sent home from the hospital earlier that morning — around 5:30 a.m. — because by all indications Haley was not yet ready to give birth to Berkley.

After being home for a couple hours, though, the contractions were coming fast, and Haley was pretty sure it was time for Berkley’s debut.

Cody called his mother.

“He said, ‘Mom, I don’t know what to do,’” Shaunda recalled.

Grandma told them to load back into the pickup and head to the hospital, and she and her husband, Craig, would meet them there.

But something unusual happened on the way to Kootenai Health.

On the phone with his dad, Cody ran two red lights before getting to the interstate, while Haley had her foot up on the dash, holding on to the safety strap above the passenger door.

“He said, ‘the baby’s head is out,’” Shaunda relayed. “Then there was a scream and we could hear the baby crying.”

The pickup, though, was stuck behind a slower-moving vehicle.

“Haley leaned over and laid on the horn,” Shaunda said.

The 1999 Silverado gunning east with two passengers, then three passengers, on the early morning interstate had belonged to Haley’s grandmother, who had recently died.

“It is really special to her,” Shaunda said.

And in the 10-minute drive — or less — from Post Falls to Kootenai Health, it became special all over again.

Haley’s mom and dad, Tanna and Dennis Kluss, met their new grandbaby at the hospital too.

“You hear people saying this sort of thing happens,” Shaunda said. “I have four kids, and I know a lot of people who have had kids. I’ve never known anybody (who gave birth in a car).”

All parties are doing well, she said.

“Everyone is happy and healthy,” Shaunda said. “It was so crazy.”

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