‘It was like God sent him to be there’: Trooper saves infant after pulling family over

KINSTON, N.C. — A traffic stop doesn’t typically end with a “thank you,” but nothing about the traffic stop on Highway 148 in Lenoir County was typical.

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Trooper Matthew Brown stopped a vehicle driving nearly 100 miles per hour for speeding, ABC News reported. Inside the car was Derrick Stroud; his fiancée, Victoria O’Neal; and their daughters, 9-week-old triplets.

“It was like God sent him to be there,” Stroud and O’Neal told WCTI.

Stroud, who was behind the wheel, was driving as fast as possible because one of his daughters, who was suffering from RSV, had stopped breathing.

“I really had no words, but other than focusing on getting my baby to the hospital to get taken care of,” Stroud told WTVD. “Although we knew it was the season for this stuff, we really didn’t pick up on it. Other than a little cough, and that cough went from cough to a hoarse cry in a matter of three to six hours.”

Stroud told ABC News that when he saw the trooper pulling him over, he was desperate to communicate what was happening.

“I was frantically hanging out the window, letting him know that my baby was having problems at that time breathing,” Stroud said.

Brown told ABC News that he saw the family’s SUV speeding with its emergency flashers on, which immediately struck him as odd.

“When I got back there, the baby was unresponsive sitting in the child’s seat,” Brown told WTVD. “I turned her head towards me, and I could see that her lips started to go blue, and she was having a lot of trouble breathing.”

Brown, a former firefighter and trained EMT, pulled the infant out of her seat and began to rub her back, keeping her awake while getting her breathing under control, WTVD reported.

“I was just trying to get something out of her and she finally did come out and open her eyes and start interacting and I could tell whenever she started breathing more normally that she was having some kind of, something going on with her lungs because her lung sounds weren’t very clear,” Brown told ABC News.

Brown told WCTI that he was just happy he could do his job. The baby’s parents see it as much more.

“Thank you so much, I cannot express how grateful I am that you were where you were when you were,” O’Neal told WCTI. “From the bottom of my heart, that means a lot and I do thank you so much. I wanted to get the word out and let everybody know how much of an angel you were Tuesday to me.”

Stroud and O’Neal told WCTI that their daughter is doing much better, and that their other two daughters are now being treated for symptoms of RSV as well.

Brown is a twin, who is expecting twins himself in the next year, WTVD reported.

“I’m a father myself and I can understand what (Stroud) was trying to do,” Brown told ABC News. “He was just not going about it necessarily the right way. But I mean, anybody who has a kid is going to do what they think they need to do to try to get it taken care of. So I wasn’t going to penalize him for that. Plus, I wanted him to go to the hospital with the baby so I had him go with the medical unit.”

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