Kids Text 911 From Inside Allegedly Drunk Dad's Car

Brother and sister feared for their lives
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2016 11:39 AM CDT
Kids Text 911 From Inside Allegedly Drunk Dad's Car
Jason Behrens   (Kearney Police Department)

Two Nebraska children may have saved their own lives and the lives of others when they texted 911 from inside their allegedly drunk father's car, WKBN reports. Fourteen-year-old Mackenzie and 12-year-old Ethan were driving through Nebraska with their 44-year-old dad, Jason Behrens, on the way to a vacation in Colorado. But they say Behrens was drunk, swerving all over the road and nearly crashing. "When a car passed, you could hear how close it was, you could hear the metal," Ethan tells NTV. "I got really, really scared, and I just started praying a lot." Mackenzie says they had told their father multiple times they didn't want to go with him because he was "really drunk" and they didn't "want to die."

The children say they begged Behrens to pull over, but he ignored them. Then, after barely escaping a head-on collision, they started texting 911. Fortunately, they were in one of only two Nebraska counties that allow people to do that. They convinced Behrens to stop at a Burger King, and police caught up with them there. Police say Behrens was three times over the legal limit, and he was arrested. Ethan and Mackenzie say it was hard to call the police on their dad, but they had no choice, and this wasn't the first time he's driven drunk with them. The New York Daily News reports the incident happened last month, but the kids are speaking out now to thank police. "They, really, really, really saved our lives,” Ethan tells WKBN. (More drunk driving stories.)

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