911 tape reveals good Samaritan as hero in baby delivery on bridge

CHARLESTON, SC - By Sam Tyson email | Twitter

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The good Samaritan identified only by her first name on Wednesday's early morning 911 call from a Ravenel Bridge on-ramp may never be publicly identified, but in the recording she stands out as the person that orchestrated events between police, the mother and her friend and the dispatcher.

The 18-minute 911 recording was released Thursday morning.

The call initiates as baby Sherlyn Gonzales is crowning and family friend Mery Martinez takes a wrong exit onto the Ravenel Bridge instead of heading into downtown Charleston. The first thing the dispatcher understood was Martinez saying Maria Gonzales was having a baby in her car.

"Ma'am, did you say someone had a baby in a car?"

After two minutes, the dispatcher involves an interpreter to determine where Martinez and Gonzales are parked. In the background, baby Gonzales can be heard crying and a frantic Martinez pleads with the dispatcher for advice.

"The baby's crying! I don't know what to do," she said. "What should I do?"

The dispatcher tells Martinez through the interpreter to find a string or shoelace and tie off the umbilical cord.

Then, a good Samaritan stops and takes the phone from Martinez. What follows is 11 minutes of her relaying information and instructions from the dispatcher to a responding police officer, Gonzales and Martinez.

"She's coming into Mt. Pleasant on the bridge," said the woman.

The dispatcher asks how many months pregnant Gonzales was. "Her due date was tomorrow, so she's full term," she said.

The dispatcher asks, "Ma'am what's your name?"

"Quantell," responds the woman.

A few minutes later, a police officer can be heard in the background. Quantell relays to him what has happened and the instructions from the dispatcher including making sure the baby's face and mouth are wiped clean and instructions for unwrapping and tying off the umbilical cord.

Several times the dispatcher asks how the mother and baby are doing. "Mom's hurting, but she's doing ok," said Quantell. "The baby's turning pink."

The dispatcher, who had already sent two emergency crews for the mother and newborn, asks where to direct EMS. "If he's coming from MUSC, if you get onto Meeting Street and make the right onto the bridge to go Mt. Pleasant, we're right there at the top of the on-ramp," said the almost anonymous hero of the story.

Quantell spots the first EMS crew and offers to connect the dispatcher with the emergency team. The dispatcher thanks Quantell, tells her she did a great job and the call ends.

Now, the only question that remains is: who is Quantell?

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