People Staff
March 13, 2003 02:34 PM

Zunilda Figueredo, 36, picked the wrong time to have a baby in New York City. The home health aide had gone to Queens General Hospital late on Aug. 27, 2000, but a nurse sent her home at 2 a.m., saying the baby might take another week. Five and a half hours later Figueredo’s water broke, and her husband, Fhanor Gutierrez, 43, called a cab. Heading into the rush hour at 8:40 a.m., “I could feel the baby’s head between my legs,” says Figueredo. Traffic on the Triborough Bridge was jammed that morning. As the cab inched toward tollbooth No. 7, Gutierrez shouted to the booth operator to alert police. The taxi pulled over to the side of the road and, with police officers redirecting traffic, toll plaza sergeant Theresa Baley assisted the delivery of baby Richard, the couple’s third child, with help from a midwife who happened by. Clearly surprised, the taxi driver managed to keep his wits. “I do remember,” says Figueredo, “he paid the toll.”

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