Naked teacher found in SUV crashed by teen driver fleeing sheriff, Nebraska cops say

A Nebraska substitute teacher is accused of sexually abusing a teenage student after they were discovered naked in the same car, officials told news outlets.

Deputies responded to a call about a vehicle that was stopped on a dead end road near Omaha at about 3 a.m. Saturday, April 13, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office told WOWT.

Two people were seen in the backseat, but when deputies approached, one of them quickly moved to the driver’s seat and drove away, the sheriff’s office told the outlet. They didn’t make it far, according to deputies.

Deputies say the driver, later identified as a 17-year-old Omaha Public Schools student, crashed the SUV in the yard of a home about two blocks away, KLKN reported. The boy was seen running away from the car completely naked.

Meanwhile, a woman was getting dressed in the backseat, the sheriff’s office told the station. They searched the SUV and found an Omaha Public Schools ID belonging to the woman, identified as 45-year-old Erin Ward, who works as a substitute high school teacher for the district, the outlet reported. She has taught at Omaha Burke High School, where the student is enrolled, investigators said.

Investigators said the SUV belongs to Ward and her spouse, WOWT reported.

Deputies found the teen at about 4 a.m., KETV reported. Ward later told deputies that she had sexual contact with the boy, and she has been charged with felony sexual abuse by a school employee.

In a release obtained by KETV, Burke High School Principal Darren Rasmussen said Ward “will not be returning to our school or any others in our district.”

“Our top priority is always the safety and well-being of the students we serve,” he said. “We take this most seriously. Counselors will be available on Tuesday for students in need of support.”

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