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A woman had three children in her SUV when she was arrested for reckless driving, DUI and three counts of child abuse Thursday evening in Neligh.
Nichole A. Tiefthaler, 35 of Butte, was arrested and transported to the Antelope County Law Enforcement Center in Neligh.
According to court records, multiple 911 calls began coming into dispatch just after 5 p.m. Thursday about a silver SUV driving at a high rate of speed and recklessly eastbound on Highway 275 past Oakdale. Another call was reported of the same vehicle southbound on Highway 14.
Antelope County Sheriff Bob Moore said due to reports in multiple locations, law enforcement struggled to find the vehicle at first, but eventually intercepted the SUV on Highway 275 and stopped it on the east edge of town at Highway 275 and 525th Ave.
“I was about three miles east of Neligh when I was advised that the vehicle was east bound on Highway 275 leaving Neligh,” according to Deputy John Shaver. “I turned around going west and about a half mile west of 525 Ave., I observed a cloud of dust and then a 2011 silver Chevrolet K1500 suburban . . . . The Chevrolet had sparks coming from underside of the vehicle.”
Shaver then blocked the road with his patrol vehicle and noticed there were children inside the SUV.
“I had been advised that the vehicle had left the roadway multiple times and had almost been involved in multiple head-on collisions,” Shaver said.
The deputy said he could see smoke coming from the front end of the vehicle and flames under the front. The driver and the three children were removed from the vehicle, and the children were placed inside the sheriff’s vehicle, according to Shaver.
The Neligh Fire Department was called to the scene; however, Moore said the smoke was later determined to be from an oil leak and not a fire.
Shaver said he could smell alcohol on Tiefthaler’s breath, although she denied having been drinking.
“Nichole later stated that she had drank some vodka before she had left home.... I personally observed that Nichole was unsteady and fell into Sheriff Moore while walking back his patrol unit,” Shaver said.
Tiefthaler’s Breathalyzer reading was at .266, according to court documents. The legal limit is .08.
She was arrested at 6:04 p.m. and is facing charges of three counts of child abuse, a Class I misdemeanor; reckless driving/endangerment, a Class III misdemeanor; and driving under the influence - first offense, a misdemeanor.