A BABY had a dramatic entry into the world on New Year's Day after his parents had to flag down a passing car to get them to the hospital in time.

Little Tommy Tarran's father Fred, 43, had to run into the street after wife Sarah's waters broke at 1.20am yesterday (Tuesday, January 1).

He had rung for an ambulance, but when it did not arrive after some time, and with Ms Tarran's contractions getting closer, he flagged down a passing car and persuaded the driver, who was Chinese, to dash them to hospital.

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Tommy was born at Hartlepool Birthing Centre just under an hour later at 3.27am weighing in at a healthy 7lbs 2oz.

Forklift truck driver Mr Tarran said: "We nearly had him in the house. I was washing my hands and getting towels.

"Then I flagged somebody down on the street. I was in a panic.

"He ran us down to the hospital and helped us in."

Ms Tarran said: "We really would like to know who they are just to say thank you."

The couple had been trying for a second child for more than six years and had approached the hospital's Assisted Reproduction Unit for help.

But Ms Tarran fell pregnant naturally before starting any treatment.

She said Tommy's arrival completes their family along with their daughter Angel, aged 11.

"We have got a boy and a girl now," said Ms Tarran, a full-time mum. "Anything else would be greedy."

Tommy had been due on New Year's Eve, but kept his parents hanging on.

Ms Tarran said: "We were predicting when he was going to come. Fred put his hand on my belly and said 'come on son, it's time to come out, it's your birthday'

and within an hour my waters broke."