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Teens honored for helping police nab alleged drunk driver


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IDAHO FALLS — Three teenagers who helped police track down and arrest an alleged drunk driver were honored as “East Idaho Real Heroes” by the American Red Cross during a luncheon Thursday.

Whitney Apel, Lazai Koontz and Joshua Clarke were on their way to pick up a friend for a school basketball game on Jan. 3 when they noticed the driver of another vehicle driving erratically.

“As we were driving down 17th Street, we noticed she came upon this car really fast in front of her and then slammed on the brakes,” Koontz recalls.

The teens say the driver was swerving all over the place so they called 911 and began recording with a cell phone camera.

“We followed her and then we saw that she ran into a fence,” Apel tells “We thought, ‘There must be something not right with this lady.'”

The woman ran into mailboxes, a fence and almost hit some cars and trash cans, according to the teenagers.

The group followed the woman for several minutes while communicating their location to the 911 dispatcher.

Eventually, the driver stopped at an Ammon home and Bonneville County Sheriff deputies were there to greet her.

Collette Shaw, 36, was arrested and charged with felony driving under the influence – her fourth offense. Investigators say she blew three times the legal limit.

The American Red Cross honored the teenagers with a ‘Youth Hero Award’ and the kids say they appreciate the recognition.

“I just think that we were trying to do a good thing. We just didn’t want anybody else to get hurt,” Apel says.

EDITOR’S NOTE: is teaming up with the American Red Cross of Greater Idaho to honor ordinary individuals who have done extraordinary things to help others.

The 11 winners of the 2018 East Idaho Real Heroes awards were announced March 8. Each day will profile a different winner.