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St. John’s SADD hosts Mock Crash PDF Print E-mail
Friday, May 10, 2013 12:41 AM

BY STEPHANIE GROVES

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DELPHOS—SKERRRT! Crunch. Bang. Thud. Thud.

 

There was a young girl hanging lifeless out of the back driver’s side door. She was covered in blood. There was another girl who was ejected through the windshield and was laying across the hood of the car crying for help. Two boys were inside the car — the driver and the passenger in the back seat. Each were crumpled up and unconscious. A group of three people ran up to the car to help.

 

Sirens wailed from the distance. Help was on the way.

 

This was the scenario outside of St. John’s High School Thursday afternoon during the Students Against Destructive Decisions crash simulation.

The 911 call was placed at 11:59 a.m. and within three minutes, the Delphos police were on the scene and began interviewing the victims and witnesses.

Both the fire department and rescue squad were on the ground running by 12:03 p.m. tending to the victims and using the Jaws of Life to open a caved-in front passenger car door.

At 12:06 p.m., the driver of the car was put through the rigors of a sobriety test — which he failed. He was handcuffed, placed in the squad car and taken to the precinct.

Firefighters extracted the girl from the front passenger seat who was thrown through the windshield and positioned half inside and half outside of the car. Life Flight was called in to transport her to a Lima hospital.

By 12:16 p.m., the lifeless body of a young girl was covered with a white sheet, pulled from the back seat, placed on a backboard and set on the ground. Life Flight landed at 12:20 p.m. and picked up the critically injured victim.

A local funeral director was on-site at 12:23 p.m. to pick up and transport the body of the deceased.

SADD members acting in the simulation include: Eric Gerberick, Calvin Vonderwell, Allison Youngpeter and Mikaila Scirocco. They said they hope that members of the student body attending the event learned something about drinking and driving.

“I hope they took it seriously,” Gerberick said. “We want to help people understand that it [drinking] is a real problem.”

Youngpeter was “pronounced dead” at the scene and placed on a backboard.

“I never want to be on a backboard again. It was painful,” Youngpeter explained.

“I hope they don’t drink and drive or text,” Vonderwell added. “Be smart during prom.”

Car accidents are the leading cause of death among teens, and one-third to one-half of those accidents are alcohol-related. In fact, more than 2,000 young people die every year in alcohol-related car crashes, which equates to one life lost every 45 minutes due to an alcohol-related accident. Teens who have been drinking are more likely than older drivers who have been drinking to get in an accident; more likely to have unprotected sex, which can lead to potentially fatal sexually transmitted diseases as well as unwanted pregnancies; and more likely to carry weapons and get into fights, which leads to alcohol-related homicides.

In addition to the number of teens who are killed in alcohol-related deaths, many teens every year are injured or disabled in alcohol-related accidents. Those who survive drunk driving accidents where others were killed often live with guilt for their rest of their lives, especially if they were the driver.

Efforts to educate teens and enforce minimum drinking ages, have led to a decline in the number of teens involved in alcohol-related deaths but to officials, the numbers are still too high. It is important for parents and friends to do their part to discourage teen drinking by explaining that drinking is dangerous and that they care about the teen and don’t want to see him or her get hurt, keeping the lines of communication open and ask questions, setting strict rules against drinking, with reasonable consequences that are enforced if the rule is ever broken, warning teens to never get into a car with a driver who has been drinking, advising them that riding with drunk passengers is also dangerous.

Teens should have someone they can call for a ride if they’re ever stuck somewhere or their driver decides to drink. They should also have a way to call for help and money for a pay phone or a cab.

Though teen alcohol-related deaths from car accidents is more likely for teens as they approach driving age, other types of teen alcohol-related accidents and deaths can occur even before teens start driving. This means it’s important for parents to start talking to their children about not drinking before they even reach their teen years. If teens have already started drinking and can’t stop on their own, they may need professional help to overcome their drinking problem and avoid becoming another statistic about teen drinking.

For more information visit www.sadd.org.

Last Updated on Friday, May 10, 2013 12:02 PM
 

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