FORT DODGE, Iowa– Police started to pursue a speeding SUV on Highway 7 near the town of Manson in Calhoun County, but the car’s occupants had a good reason for going over the speed limit.
Ben and Rachel Kohnen were heading to the hospital in Fort Dodge at about 4:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. He admits that he was going about 30 miles over the speed limit when they passed the officer.
“He starts following me and he turns on his lights an my wife says we can’t pull over. The baby is coming now,” said the driver, Ben Kohnen of Pomeroy.
“I did tell him not to stop,” said Rachel Kohnen.
At the time, she was in labor with their fourth child and didn’t think they would make it to the hospital in time.
“I think I was screaming, ‘ Oh dear God, we can’t have the baby in the car,’” said the mother of four.
The couple says they tried to call 911, but the dispatcher probably couldn’t understand Rachel in between her contractions.
“I know I was crazy lady screaming it into the phone,” said Rachel.
As they approached the outskirts of Fort Dodge, authorities were waiting for them.
“They had thrown out the tire spikes and so all four tires, I run over those and all four tires go flat,” said Ben Kohnen.
The Kohnens say they were ordered to the ground and held at gunpoint until police realized this was an emergency. Rachel was rushed to the hospital and nearly 10 pound, Hazel, was born an hour later.
“She’s doing really well right now,” the couple said.
Manson Police Chief Tom Ritts says no charges have been filed, but it’s up to County Attorney to decide if that remains the case. The Chief says it’s a good idea to call ahead for help to avoid situations like this.