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Miracle Arrives in Parking Lot

A couple welcomed their second child to the world Tuesday, but this time they didn’t make it to the hospital. They ended up having to rely on each other and the quick actions of a mechanic.

Mary Riddle of Milford is the proud mother of Elijah Riddle. He is her second baby boy, weighing in at 7 pounds 12 ounces.

She is now at Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale after giving birth outside, at a gas station nearly 10 miles away.

“We pulled into the Citgo gas station, right before Hawley. I got down on all fours and he popped out,” said Riddle.

The Citgo gas station is attached to Gary’s Auto Service in Hawley.

It all started around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.

“You know, pretty normal at that point. We got our bags, got in the car, going down the highway like a hundred miles an hour,” said Justin Riddle, Mary’s husband.

About 20 minutes from the hospital, Mary went into labor.

“I was like ‘I’m not going to make it, I’m not going to make it’. I was like, ‘Pull over, I think the head is coming out!'” said Mary.

Gary Strasser, the owner of Gary’s Auto Service, said he was inside his shop about to bring some vehicles in for maintenance when all of a sudden he heard someone screaming. He went outside to take a look and there he found Mary, about to give birth.

“Next thing I know, he was out walking to the back of the car. She got out of the car, ” said Strasser.

“He was born about 7:25 a.m.. This is when he (Riddle’s husband) called 911 and came over and the baby was in my pants. He came over and was holding the baby. Then, 911 told them to tie up the umbilical cord,” said Mary.

That’s when Gary grabbed his shoe lace and went to work.

“They told me to tie it off six inches from the baby, so I tied a knot with my shoe lace,” said Strasser.

In 10 minutes the ambulance arrived.

Now, all three are doing well.

“You don’t think it’s going to be you. It’s like a sitcom.” said Mary.

“Thirty-three years and it’s the wildest story here,” said Strasser.

It will likely also be the wildest story Elijah will tell one day as well.


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