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New dad survives close call just hours after wife gives birth

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- A Blue Springs family is thankful to be back together after a whirlwind 24 hours. Friday, mom Ashleigh Dueker gave birth. Less than an hour later, her husband was rushed to the hospital after a car crash.

Baby Zayden Dueker is sleeping peacefully. The healthy six pound baby boy is blissfully unaware of what happened to his daddy the day he was born.

"Definitely scary," said father Aaron Dueker.

After Ashleigh Dueker gave birth early Friday morning, her husband Aaron offered to pick up her postpartum craving -- French fries.

"None of the other McDonald's were open, so I had to go all the way to Blue Springs on Highway 7," Aaron said.

But on the way back to the hospital, a box truck in front of him on I-70 slammed the brakes, and Aaron over-corrected. His SUV hit the guard rails and flipped twice. First responders had to use the jaws of life to cut him out of the vehicle.

"I see that all the time and work with it constantly. I've never had to have it done with me," said Aaron Dueker.

Aaron's seen it before because he's a Clinton County Sheriff's deputy and military veteran. But his first thought wasn't of himself, but his wife recovering from giving birth.

"How mad she was going to be," said Dueker.

But wife Ashleigh's response was actually much different.

"I'm just glad he's okay," said Ashleigh Dueker.

Ashleigh broke down in tears when she heard about the crash. But she was even more emotional when Aaron, who was taken to the very same hospital, walked through the door with just a few cuts and scrapes.

"When he came to the door and the kids were here, seeing that noise I hear every day, 'Daddy!' when he walks through the door, then I was okay. But it wasn't until then that I was actually okay," said Ashleigh Dueker.

The family knows they are lucky for a healthy little boy and his two big sisters. They're also grateful Aaron practiced what he preaches as a deputy sheriff by buckling up.

"No seat belt and I would've been dead," Aaron said.

The family already uses a buckle up drill with their daughters every time they get in the car. Now they're glad they can pass along the same lesson of seat belt safety to baby Zayden.

The family's SUV was their only vehicle and just one month shy of being fully paid off. So a family member has started a Go Fund Me page to help get them back on the road.

If you'd like to help here's the link.