updated 8/14/2006 5:40:07 PM ET 2006-08-14T21:40:07

A pregnant woman in labor, driving herself to the hospital, crashed her car and gave birth while trapped in the mangled, partially submerged vehicle, authorities said.

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Kenyetta Biggs spent more than an hour in the car Sunday morning before she — and her newborn daughter — were rescued and taken to a hospital, authorities said. Her father said she had not told the family she was pregnant.

Biggs, 21, suffered a broken leg but she and the baby she named Myracle were reported to be doing well.

Palm Beach County sheriff’s Deputy Stephen Maxwell had been starting his shift Sunday when he noticed a person’s head poking out through some tall grass along a canal bank.

The deputy stopped and found Biggs trying to get out of her partially submerged car. She told him her baby was inside.

“As I looked around her I saw the newborn baby laying in the passenger seat with the placenta and umbilical cord still attached,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell and another deputy pried open the door to free Biggs. Police said she had been driving to a hospital and a strong contraction caused her to lose control of the car shortly after 5 a.m.

Biggs’ father, Kenneth Biggs, said he figured his daughter didn’t tell relatives of her pregnancy because she was afraid of their reaction. None of that matters now, he said.

“We are definitely welcoming this baby with open arms,” he said.

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