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Grandmother and Clay County sheriff honored for helping deliver baby on highway

MOORHEAD — A grandmother and the Clay County Sheriff were recently recognized for their quick, caring action after helping deliver the woman's grandson in a car on a rural county road over the Labor Day weekend.

Now just weeks old, Aiden Olson slept his way through all the fuss as Stork Awards from the Barnesville Ambulance were presented to Sheriff Mark Empting and Becky Unterseher during at the Clay County Commission's Tuesday, Sept. 24, meeting.

"It meant a lot to me," said Aiden's father, Isaac Olson, expressing gratitude to his mother-in-law and the sheriff. "That was probably the most terrifying 15 minutes of my life, not knowing what was going on."

On Aug. 31, Bobbi Jo Olson, her sister and mother were out visiting friends in rural Hawley when the first sign came.

"All of a sudden my water broke and I ran to a bathroom," Olson remembered.


The couple hopped in the car to head back to Fargo on Clay County 10, but Olson was in labor while on the road.

"I think I am pushing," she remembered saying. "I felt the head and my sister pulled over."

Olson's mom stepped up to help, and Aiden Olson came into the world with help from his grandma.

"You have no time to think," Unterseher said. "I opened her door and his head was right there."

The new grandmother said she was like a Vikings receiver — under pressure to make a good catch.

"She did one more push and out he came," Unterseher said.

The group had called 911 and Sheriff Mark Empting, who was returning from a long day in Rollag, rolled on scene. In 22 years of law enforcement, he said this was a first.

"We had to do something to make sure he was OK," Empting said. "We got his mouth and nose cleaned off and once we rubbed his chin he started moving."


Empting and Unterseher had to improvise when they tied the baby's umbilical cord. After all, who carries clamps?

"Dispatch said we had to tie the cord, and I had nothing," Empting said. "But Grandma Becky said: 'How about my hoodie strings? That will work.' "

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

Contact Email: kwallevand@wday.com
Phone Number: (701) 241-5317
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