After more than three decades, a woman is reunited with a retired San Diego Police sergeant who delivered her as a baby on the 163 freeway in Kearny Mesa.
Trinh Kennedy is now 31 years old. Before Friday, she didn’t know what he looked like. She only had an article from 1983. She told NBC 7 her mom often told stories of the delivery.
“She tells the story all the time, and most people don't believe her. They’re like ‘Oh my gosh! You were born on the freeway?” Trinh said.
For years, Kennedy looked for Sgt. Bob Jackson. She now lives in Las Vegas and said it was very challenging, for she didn’t even know if he was with the San Diego Police Department or the California Highway Patrol.
Earlier this year, Kennedy reached out to NBC 7’s Candice Nguyen who worked with the San Diego Police Department to track him down.
NBC 7 and the department found Jackson. He’s now retired and has two daughters and a son-in-law also working at the San Diego Police Department.
Jackson met with NBC 7 before the reunion to describe what happened. He remembers that evening 31 years ago very well.
“I was working graveyard out of the Northeastern Division in Rancho Penasquitos,” he said. “I looked at my rearview mirror and saw this car coming at me blinking its headlights. [Trinh’s father] came up behind me he must’ve been going 80-85.”
“He's speaking Vietnamese and every once in a while popped out ‘Baby! Wife.’ I didn't speak any Vietnamese, but I understood that,” Jackson said.
With the mother’s contractions minutes apart and no ambulance in sight, Jackson knew it was only them.
“I got right down and took care of the situation. She was crowned already and within a couple minutes I had a little baby girl in my hands,” he said. However, they weren’t in the clear yet.
“I got the baby out and the cord was wrapped around the baby's neck, and there hadn't been a lot of motion yet or crying. I got the cord off the baby's neck and turned her over and rubbed her back. I put her on mom's belly and she started crying,” Jackson recalled. “Yeah that really made my day right there.”
After a quick photo opportunity at the hospital after the delivery, the family never saw Jackson again. That is, until Friday.
Trinh, her husband, her mother and her 8-week-old baby named Clayton drove to San Diego from Las Vegas to reunite with him.
“Our whole family is very, very thankful when it was desperate, most needed,” said Doan Hang, Trinh’s mother. She laughed with Jackson, telling him her English was much better now and they have a larger vehicle than the tiny Honda Civic in which she gave birth to Trinh. The family and the retired sergeant shared memories for more than an hour.
Referring to Jackson being there for the delivery, Trinh said “That is such divine intervention. So many things could’ve gone bad. What if my mom gave birth in the car? What if Bob hadn’t been there on the freeway at the time?"
The family made sure to take plenty of pictures with the retired sergeant. Trinh said she’s happy she has more than the old article to now remember Jackson by.