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KEARNY, Neb. - Two Nebraska children are speaking about the terrifying ordeal that led them to text message police dispatchers for help when their father refused to stop driving them while he was allegedly drunk.
Ethan Behrens, 12, and Mackenzie Behrens, 14, knew their father, Jason Behrens, was drunk when he started driving them to Colorado for a vacation, according to KUTV.
“We told him we don't want to go anymore because you are drunk and I don't want to die,” Mackenzie told the TV station.
Despite their pleas, the siblings said Jason Behrens refused to pull over. At one point, they said their father nearly hit another vehicle head-on as he swerved down the roads near Kearney, Nebraska.
“He's like, 'I'm not drunk.' And then he kept on driving and that's the point (where) I got really, really scared and I just started praying a lot,” Ethan told KHGI. “When a car passed, you could hear how close it was, you could hear the metal.”
He told his sister to send a text message to 911 the next time he swerved, which Mackenzie did.
On a GoFundMe page set up on behalf of the children's mother, Amy Brooks, family friend Vicki Aten said Ethan and Mackenzie text messaged 911 multiple times on their journey with descriptions of the businesses they passed to help officers find them before they reached the interstate.
They eventually convinced him to stop at a Burger King, where Kearney police caught up with them.
“He looked back at us and said, 'You've been texting the cops?' And I was like, 'Yeah, I thought I was going to die,'” Ethan told KHGI.
Police administered a breathalyzer test that showed Jason Behrens' blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit, according to the TV station.
Authorities arrested Jason Behrens on one count of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and two counts of driving drunk with minors in the vehicle.