Baby born in car last week left by mother at Johnson City hospital

Becky Campbell • Dec 6, 2012 at 8:35 AM

The baby born in a car last week is now home, but she is not with her mother or the man who drove 85 mph from Elizabethton trying to get to Franklin Woods Community Hospital before she arrived.

According to a Johnson City police report, Sandy Driver left the hospital without her newborn, and Desmond Johnson, the man who drove her to the hospital and was with Driver after she was admitted, is not the father.

Police were called to the hospital Monday about threats that Derek Driver — Sandy Driver’s husband — received from Johnson. Derek Driver is apparently the baby girl’s biological father.

According to what he told police, Sandy Driver and Johnson were once married, but he — Derek Driver — is actually her husband now and the baby’s father.

When police arrived at the hospital, a Department of Children’s Services caseworker, Priscilla Williams, was already there and said she was releasing the baby to Derek Driver.

“Williams said that (Driver) has rights to the child since he and Sandy Driver are married,” the police report reads.

Williams told police a home check had already been done at Derek Driver’s residence and he was approved to take custody of his baby.

“Neither Sandy Driver or Desmond Johnson were present at the hospital,” the report said.

It is unlikely Sandy Driver will face any charges for leaving her baby at the hospital.

Tennessee state law allows a newborn child to be voluntarily relinquished as long as the baby is left at one of several specific “safe” locations and the baby is unharmed.

Locations defined in the state law are birthing centers, community health clinics, outpatient walk-in clinics, fire departments staffed 24 hours a day, law enforcement facilities staffed 24 hours a day or EMS facilities.

Police confirmed there is no investigation at this time. The matter is now in the hands of DCS.

Last week, Johnson and Sandy Driver gave a harrowing account of the baby’s rapid birth and a series of twists and turns in the story before they could get to the hospital.

It included a quickening of Sandy Driver’s contractions, no gas in the car, Johnson driving 85 mph down West G Street in Elizabethton and the baby eventually being born in the front passenger’s seat along State of Franklin Road.

They went public with their story after area media asked for interviews.

Sandy Driver did not respond to a message sent to her through her Facebook account.

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