Toronto taxi driver has day he won't soon forget after baby born in back of cab

Vernon Warnor, a driver with Beck Taxi, was just minutes into his shift when he got a call for a pick-up in Scarborough. He had no idea then what was about to unfold.  (Chris Langenzarde/CBC - image credit)
Vernon Warnor, a driver with Beck Taxi, was just minutes into his shift when he got a call for a pick-up in Scarborough. He had no idea then what was about to unfold. (Chris Langenzarde/CBC - image credit)

A Toronto taxi driver had a morning he'll never forget after what started off as a routine call ended with him helping to deliver a baby in the back of his cab.

Vernon Warnor, a driver with Beck Taxi, was just minutes into his shift when he got a call for a pick-up in Scarborough. He had no idea then what was about to unfold.

When he arrived at the home, he was met by a very pregnant woman and her little girl. Their destination: a downtown Toronto hospital about 40 minutes away, where she was supposed to give birth.

Warnor noticed the woman was in quite a bit of pain and started to have an inkling they might not make it.

"I was thinking that I hope the baby and the mother would be safe. That was my priority — that nothing went out of the ordinary," he told CBC Toronto.

'Baby started to appear'

But about five minutes into the drive, the woman said her water had broken..

The woman was on the phone with someone from the hospital she was supposed deliver at, who advised they should try to make it to the nearest hospital.

Before they could, Warnor said, "the baby started to appear."

That's when a combination of his own instinct and the emergency training Beck gave him kicked in. Warnor pulled into a nearby gas station and called 911. Then he grabbed a towel and blanket the woman had packed from the back of cab and got to work.

"It was teamwork between the mother and myself and the person from the dispatch that I was talking to and she was also on the line with somebody from where she was supposed to make her delivery," he said.

Chris Langenzarde/CBC
Chris Langenzarde/CBC

The emergency dispatcher advised them to keep the baby warm and make sure the umbilical cord wasn't wrapped around its neck.

Emergency personnel arrived soon after, but by that time baby was already born. Warnor said he was impressed at how they jumped into action to make sure mom and baby were safe.

But he was especially impressed with the mother, who he said kept calm, all things considered.

"She did her best," he said. "She was courageous."

'They met for a reason'

Kristine Hubbard, operations manager for Beck Taxi, told CBC News she believes Warnor did exactly what he was supposed to.do

"Every decision he made, he had her in mind, her well-being and the baby's well-being ... It just speaks so much to his character," Hubbard said.

"I just think he was exactly where he should be today," she added. "They met for a reason."

Chris Langenzarde/CBC
Chris Langenzarde/CBC

As for the mom and new baby, Hubbard says Beck Taxi has been able to confirm both are doing well, though the mother is understandably "exhausted."

For Warnor's part, he says, it was quite the day, but he's happy about the outcome.

"To be honest, I'm still a little bit shaken from the experience, but I would do it again if I had to," he said.

"I feel like I made a difference."