Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Holds First-Ever Mock Crash to Warn Students
Schools across Minnesota are preparing for prom and commencement ceremonies. But what no one can prepare for is a car crash.
Walker-Hackensack-Akeley held the district’s first-ever mock crash on May 1st to show students the dangers of distracted or impaired driving. The students also learned about how fatal car crashes can affect more than just those in the driver’s seat.
While teenagers make up about 9% of drivers in Minnesota, they are involved in about 18% of crashes, according to Walker Police Chief Peter Anderley. In a tight-knit community like Walker, the victims are not only involved in the crash itself. From the emergency personnel who assist on the scene, to the family and friends who lose a loved one, the effects of a crash can cause major ripples across communities.
Although mock crashes are staged, they can still affect the students who witness them. Anderley said one goal of this demonstration was to shock and have a lasting effect on the WHA student body. From using different emergency services like the fire department to ambulance crews, the scene near the school recreated what would actually happen if a crash occurred.
WHA students also took part in the demonstration. Dressed in fake injuries and blood, each played a role. From a deceased classmate who flew through the front windshield to the impaired driver, EMS crews worked with these students to show their peers the reality of car crashes.
These exercises also provide learning opportunities and more hands-on training for EMS personnel. The fire department uses tools like the Jaws of Life to take apart the car, and the ambulance crew work together to properly stabilize and lift patients onto gurneys. Law enforcement also perform clean-up and evidence collecting duties.
While there is no set timeline for when mock crashes are held, school officials hope to have them as reoccurring events to promote safe driving practices.
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