Mock wreck at MCHS drives a message home

Friday, March 21, 2014

By Jessica Moore

Staff Writer

Thursday morning seniors at Marshall County High School witnessed a mock wreck as part of a safe driving awareness program. The program began at 8:30 and continued on past 10 a.m. Students listened to a guest speaker from the Governor's Safety Office, Tony Burnett Law Enforcement Liason, while he spoke of an incident that happened to a girl he knew that changed her life forever. The girls name was Rachel, and she had fallen asleep behind the wheel. When she woke up, she was heading into oncoming traffic. In order to avoid a head on collision with a truck, Rachel swerved around it. In doing so, she hit a man on a motor cycle and killed him. This incident happened three years ago, and Rachel is still coping with it. The accident could have been avoided had she not driven while being so tired. This is something that will affect her for the rest of her life. MCHS teacher Mrs. Anderson, also shared a story about the death of a former student. The girl was an athlete and a good student. She was away attending college in Murfreesboro and got in a vehicle with a drunk driver, she had not been drinking. There was an wreck and she lost her life.

They shared these testimonies to emphasize that a person doesn't have to be drunk to be a victim in a drunk driving accident. Life threatening accidents happen everyday due to distracted driving, drinking and driving, texting while driving, even driving without enough sleep. Drivers young and old need to be aware of what causes accidents and how best to avoid them. Accidents don't just affect the people involved they also affect their families and loved ones. The most significant part of Thursdays program was the mock wreck. This wreck was as close to real as possible, and something all schools should look into doing for their students. Actors and actresses from the Marshall County High School student body volunteered to play the roles of five young adults involved in a motor vehicle accident. These students really drove the message home to the others by showing just how serious an wreck can be.

The students got to witness first hand just how many people can be involved during the rescue of an accident. Emergency services from the fire department, EMS department, police department, sheriff's department, the EMA, volunteer squads, and even Air-Evac if necessary respond to the call. During this mock wreck, two victims had to be extricated from one of the vehicles. This was done by pulling the roof of the vehicle back, and cutting through the front passenger door. Students watched intently as their classmates were carried out on stretchers, and as one was flown out in a helicopter. One student ended up in a coma. One was arrested for drunk driving. One was flown to the hospital by Air-Evac, and two victims died as a result of the wreck. All of this during the mock wreck was done to show just how serious distracted driving is. Teens and young adults die every day in crashes due to distracted driving.

Once the students reassembled in the gym after the mock wreck, they were given an opportunity to ask questions to the flight RN and flight paramedic. The students applauded all of those involved with the mock wreck. As the program continued teacher Mrs. Anderson pulled a group of students from the audience all dressed in black. For the remainder of the day, these students were not allowed to talk to anyone. They represented the amount of deaths per day as a result of distracted driving. Students also wore red ribbons as awareness for the Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization. The message from the program was a strong one. Distracted driving is more than dangerous, and can affect anyone. Don't text and drive, don't drink and drive, don't drive while being too tired. The possible outcome isn't worth it for anyone or any reason.