New Castle couple welcomes baby girl born on Pennsylvania Turnpike

A normal-looking pull-off area on the Pennsylvania Turnpike will forever be a special place for one local family, who welcomed a baby girl on the side of the road in March.

Lottie Holmes was born at 7:35 p.m. on March 21 in the pull-off area at mile marker 18.1 between the Beaver Valley and Cranberry interchanges.

Bob Demko, an equipment operator at Homewood Maintenance Facility, arrived at the scene 10 minutes before the ambulance arrived, the turnpike said. He was washing his truck at the facility when he heard an unusual call crackle over the radio.

“It sounded like they said a baby was coming or a baby was coming out,” Demko said. “It definitely makes your ears perk up.”

Demko found Nick and Sarah Holmes outside of their car in the pull-off area. A state police trooper arrived shortly after him.

“I was like I need to push, my body is telling me this baby is ready to come. I have to push,” said Sarah Holmes.

“I was the first one there, and I got to see a lot of stuff I never in my life thought I’d see,” Demko, an 18-year employee at Homewood Maintenance Facility, said. “I don’t have kids, and I told my wife later that I always wanted to witness this, and never thought I would.”

The turnpike said Demko never thought he would witness a birth at all. But there he was, handing the couple blankets and towels and helping in any way he could.

“I asked them, ‘What do you need?’ And he said, ‘She’s doing all the work,’” Demko said.

Nick Holmes is an employee at People’s Gas in Gibsonia and drives the turnpike to get to work.

Sarah said Nick used to be a volunteer firefighter so with his training, he’s great under pressure.

“I just jumped into action,” Holmes said. “It’s one of those things that’s hard to explain unless you’re in that position. You think you’d be a nervous wreck, but you know what the end game has to be, and there were no other options at that point.”

The turnpike said Lottie spent nearly two days in the Allegheny Health Network Wexford Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit before going home to New Castle, where she is doing well with her parents and her big brother, Jace, who is 2 and a half.

“It was really nice to see something positive happen out there – a new life,” Demko said. “I’m just very happy I could be part of it.”

Download the FREE WPXI News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Channel 11 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI NOW


Local shelter working to help dog found abandoned, tied to tree in McCandless park Gun shop owner concerned over bill that would require stores to electronically track firearm sales Fayette County foster care case worker accused of taking inappropriate video of underage girls VIDEO: Sharpsburg man accused of leading state police on high-speed chase DOWNLOAD the Channel 11 News app for breaking news alerts