Taylor family welcomes I-66 Express Lanes miracle baby, thanks emergency crews for roadside assistance

Baby Audrey and “Trooper Teddy,” a gift from Virginia State Police. [Submitted photo]The Taylor family now knows the Interstate 66 Express Lanes in Prince William County better than most drivers in our region. Their baby, Audrey, was born on the side of the toll road while mom, dad, and their three-year-old son were attempting to get to a hospital.

“It was crazy,” said Brandon Taylor, the father who helped with his wife, Joan, as the express lanes traffic whizzed by. “You hear the stories, but you never know someone that went through it.”

It all started about 5:45 on Tuesday morning, January 30, 2024, when Joan could feel the baby stirring. She woke up, woke Brandon, and he went into his pre-rehearsed motions, grabbing the baby bag they had ready and getting their three-year-old son out of bed. “Twenty minutes later, we were on the highway, and it was happening,” Brandon said.

They were on the I-66 express lanes heading east when he pulled over near mile marker 46 at Gainesville and ran around to her door. “As soon as I got over there, I saw crowing, the baby’s head coming out,” he said.

Cars rushed by, and when Prince William County emergency crews and a Virginia State Police officer showed up, “I had the baby in my hands,” he said.

He was grateful there were trained technicians on the scene. “They took over from there,” he said. Brandon’s three-year-old son in the back seat was wide-eyed the whole time, but when the emergency squad arrived, one took care of the youngster, too.

The Virginia State Police Trooper M. Weinholtz was on the scene with the EMT squad.

“Just as the State Trooper pulled up, little Miss Audrey arrived as well,” said Taylor.
Baby Audrey, along with mom and dad, made it safely to the hospital, and all are doing great – especially with Virginia State Police Trooper Teddy watching out for them, the statewide police agency posted to X (formerly Twitter).

When officials at the I-66 E-ZPass Express Lanes learned about the roadside birth, they couldn’t have been happier. The lanes came in handy despite some of the initial pushback they’ve gotten for some expensive tolls.

“Our team takes pride in being able to play a role in ensuring the safety of our community in such unique and unexpected situations,” said Nancy Smith, Corporate Affairs Director at I-66 Express Mobility Partners.

Afterward, the family went by Prince William County Fire Station 22, off Balls Ford Road, to thank the officers involved.

The Virginia Department of Transportation and I-66 Express Mobility Partners opened the final leg of the I-66 E-ZPass Express Lanes “outside the Beltway” on Tuesday, November 2022.

Billed as a timesaver, the 23-mile stretch of toll lanes from Route 29 in Gainesville to the Capital Beltway allows vehicles with three or more occupants to travel the express lanes for free and vehicles with fewer passengers to pay a toll. All drivers need an E-ZPass or E-ZPass Flex to use the lanes.

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