FORT DODGE, Iowa (PIX11) – With his wife in labor in the passenger seat, an Iowa father thought he had a good reason to not stop for the flashing lights and sirens in his rear-view mirror. But police thought differently.
Ben Kohnen has been ticketed for speeding his laboring wife to the hospital last week, WHO-TV reported Tuesday.
Urged on by his wife to hurry – their fourth child was coming into the world, and fast – Kohnen hit the gas, propelling his SUV to nearly 30 miles above the speed limit on Highway 7 near Manson.
“He starts following me and he turns on his lights and my wife says, ‘We can’t pull over. The baby is coming now,'” Ben said.
Rachel Kohnen doesn’t dispute that she told her husband not to stop for the cops. Ben said he wanted to pull over but listened to his laboring wife and kept going.
Officers called in reinforcement and set up a spike strip, which flattened the couple’s tires. Stopped, the pair emerged from the car surrounded by police.
“I was in the middle of the highway having contractions with guns pointed at me,” Rachel recalled.
When they finally figured out what was happened, the police escorted Rachel to the hospital where nearly 10-pound Hazel was born an hour later. She’s home now and healthy.
No charges were immediately filed, police said, leaving that decision to the Calhoun County District Attorney.
The DA has issued two citations: a speeding ticket for going 86 in a 55 mph zone and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.
“Both (tickets) are true,” Ben admitted.
The citations could put his commercial driver’s license, which he uses for work, at risk, but the Manson Police Chief Tom Ritts said it all could have been avoided.
“Do I have a little sympathy for the guy? Yes I do,” Ritts said.
“If he had just pulled over for about 45 seconds, my officer would have realized what was going on. He would have said, ‘OK get back on the road. I’ll follow you,” he added.