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Posted: December 22, 2017

Georgia officer reunited with man he helped deliver on interstate in 1997

Elton Hassell, left, reunites with Yelsin Vazquez, whom he helped deliver during a traffic jam on I-85 20 years ago.
WSBTV.com
Elton Hassell, left, reunites with Yelsin Vazquez, whom he helped deliver during a traffic jam on I-85 20 years ago.

By Justin Wilfon, WSBTV.com

GWINNETT CO., Ga. —

A Georgia police officer was reunited for the first time with the man he helped deliver on the side of an interstate highway 20 years ago.

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“I hugged him and said, ‘Look, we're family. I brought you into this world,’” Suwanee Officer Elton Hassell said.

On a July night in 1997 on I-85 in Norcross, a crash had backed up traffic.

While sitting in the traffic jam, Hassell noticed something unusual in the car next to him.

“So I stepped out of my truck and I looked. (A woman) was in childbirth and I looked down and I saw part of a head and a full head of hair,” he said.

The woman and her husband had panicked, so the officer jumped in to help deliver the baby, something he'd never done before. He also saved the baby's life.

“The cord was around (his) neck and his face was blue. His lips were blue,” Hassell said.

The officer unwrapped the cord from the baby's neck -- and 20 years later that baby, now a man, could not be more thankful.

Yelsin Vazquez, 20, now has a family of his own. On Thursday in Suwanee, he reunited with Hassell.

“Oh my God. The last time I hugged you, you're weren't much bigger than her,” Hassell said when he saw Vazquez and his young daughter.

Vazquez did not want to speak on camera, but he said he is very grateful to Hassell.


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