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Baby arrives in mountains

Boy who was born in truck is named Canyon

Helen and James Crowther of Provo admire Canyon, who was born Saturday while the couple was in Hobble Creek Canyon.
Helen and James Crowther of Provo admire Canyon, who was born Saturday while the couple was in Hobble Creek Canyon.
Dan Lund, for the Deseret Morning News

SPRINGVILLE — An infant boy was born in the mountains Saturday evening, too impatient to enter the world in the comfort of a hospital.

His parents, James and Helen Crowther, realized that the name they picked out for their son — L.J. — didn't quite do justice to his personality or the natural surroundings he first encountered in the world.

"Everybody at work wanted us to call him Tacoma," said James Crowther, referring to the pickup that substituted as a delivery room.

But Helen Crowther thought to name him Canyon.

"I think it sounds good," James Crowther said. "It fits him good."

Canyon James Crowther was born at about 4 p.m. Saturday — only 15 minutes after his mother went into labor along a dirt road in Hobble Creek Canyon.

The healthy baby is 19 inches long and weighs 7 pounds 12 ounces.

Helen Crowther experienced some labor pains on Friday but felt nothing on Saturday. She had been pent up in the house for a couple of days and wanted to take a drive to look at autumn leaves.

Helen Crowther thinks the bumpy dirt road may have started the labor.

Her water broke at 3:45 p.m., and they were in an area where there is no cell phone reception so they couldn't call for help.

"He started driving faster down the mountain. And, like 10 minutes later, I was having contractions, and I was breathing through them," Helen Crowther said. "I was like, 'James, you've got to pull over.' "

"My wife is like, 'You've got to stop,' " James Crowther said. "And I was like, 'No, we're going to make it, we're going to make it.' Finally she was pretty insistent."

James Crowther pulled the truck to the side of the road. He had only witnessed one other birth — that of their 2-year-old daughter, who was at a relative's house while they took the drive.

Helen Crowther said she didn't really have to give her husband instructions about how to deliver the baby. Canyon, she said, was well on his way by himself.

"The baby was already there, ready to come out," James Crowther said. "One big push out to his shoulder, another push out to

his legs. And I just pulled him the rest of the way out."

About that time, three off-duty police officers from Salt Lake County came upon the scene. They cleaned out the baby's mouth and patted him on the back to help him begin breathing. One of the officers went down the canyon to get help.

The baby was due Thursday, but the Crowthers' daughter, Ele, also arrived early.

"I had my hospital stuff in the truck, just to be prepared so we didn't forget it," Helen Crowther said. "I had a receiving blanket that we wrapped (around) the baby."

One of the officers drove the parents in the pickup to a paved road. There, they met an ambulance. Medical technicians cut the umbilical cord and took the family to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, where doctors examined Canyon and his mother and determined they were fine.