Baby Born During High-Speed Police Chase on New Year's Day as Father Rushes Mother to Hospital

Little Anastasia came into the world under colorful fireworks — and police lights

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Photo: Carl Alewine

A baby girl born just an hour after the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day was welcomed into the world under the glow of colorful fireworks—and dozens of police lights.

Carl Alewine was working with a friend on New Year’s Eve when his pregnant fiancée, Tiffani Von Glahn, called him and said she thought she was going into labor as her contractions were getting stronger. As soon he heard his fiancée’s screams over the phone, Alewine left to pick her up to drive down to the Medical University of South Carolina, about an hour from their home in St. George, South Carolina.

It was pivotal they made it to MUSC, since the hospital specializes in high-risk pregnancies and doctors said Von Glahn couldn’t have the baby naturally due to her small frame, titled cervix and the position of the baby. She would have to undergo a C-section, or risk putting her life, or her baby’s life, in danger. Knowing this, Alewine felt the pressure mounting.

“Right when I get on the on the ramp of the interstate, I hear a loud splash and hear her scream that her water broke, and my foot just hit the gas,” Alewine, 27, tells PEOPLE. “That’s what really made me go—I was very nervous. I was on the phone with the hospital with her screaming in the background, and I was hauling ass!”

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Carl Alewine

With Alewine driving his green 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee 95 mph down the interstate while dialing 911 to give them a heads up, the couple made it about a half-hour from the hospital when the blue lights of a police car appeared in the rearview mirror.

“I looked at Tiffani, I looked at the cops, and she’s screaming,” Alewine recalls. “She says, ‘Babe, please don’t stop!’ So, what are you going to do, you know? I’m thinking, ‘I’m going to go to jail tonight.’ ”

Alewine put on his emergency flashers and tried to call highway patrol, but couldn’t get a connection. For a moment, he considered that the officer might have received word the couple was headed to the hospital and they were sent as an escort, but when the interstate went into a curve, Alewine was able to see 20 police cars following the one directly behind him. Then he noticed a collection of police cars blocking the exit ramps he passed. Because of them, they realized, the interstate had been shut down.

“The hospital told me I could pull over and wait for an ambulance, but I knew if we waited, Tiffani could get hurt, or the baby could get hurt,” he says. “Pulling over just wasn’t an option, I would have taken going to jail.”

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Carl Alewine

About 15 minutes after the chase began, police initiated a defensive maneuver, surrounding the Jeep from the front, back and side, forcing Alewine to come to a stop. As he shouted from the window that his fiancée was in labor, a cop appeared with his gun drawn and demanded Alewine get out of the vehicle. Officers quickly placed him in handcuffs—and that’s when their attention turned to the screaming woman in the passenger seat. As odds would have it, a police officer’s father, who was a former EMT firefighter, was along for the ride that night, and quickly went into action to help with the roadside delivery.

“I’m watching it the whole time, I’m on the hood of the car, in handcuffs, watching my child be born, it’s New Year’s and the fireworks displays are going on all around us, blue lights flashing and I’m crying tears of joy,” Alewine says. “I wasn’t even thinking about being arrested.”

As he stood there, an officer walked up to Alewine and uncuffed him, and police on the scene burst into applause. The couple’s baby girl, Anastasia, was born at 1:03 a.m. New Year’s Day, weighing 6 pounds, 2 ounces.

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Carl Alewine

As of Thursday, Anastasia, who was born three weeks early, is still at MUSC as doctors keep track of her vitals.

Alewine is looking forward to bringing his new family home, but the couple found out on Christmas Day that they will have to vacate their rented home by January 5. He recently started a GoFundMe page with the goal of raising $500 to help the family pay rent for a new place.

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