Scared safe at Spanish Fork High School
The reality and consequences of a fatal automobile accident were brought to the attention of students at Spanish Fork High School on May 17. A very realistic mock accident scene was staged on the school grounds that simulated the deaths of two people, critical injury to two others and the DUI arrest of one of the drivers. This accident scenario was witnessed by 800 somber-faced students. The purpose was to scare the students with the reality that this can happen to you and your friends.
The scene was set with two cars in a head-on crash and student drivers and passengers made up to illustrate serious injuries with fake blood. The scene was then covered with a tarp until the high school student body arrived to fill the bleachers. A verbal discussion from inside one of the cars was played over the PA system leading up to the sounds of a crash, followed by a witness calling a 911 dispatcher. The tarp was removed displaying the accident which showed one body ejected from one of the cars. Everyone looked upon this scene a few minutes before the police and highway patrol cars arrived followed by the fire trucks and ambulances.
The first responders worked quickly to evaluate the injuries, but found the victims trapped inside the car. The fire department had to literally cut the car apart to remove the victims. Despite the disciplined and well-organized work of the fire department, it seemed to take a
long time to remove the victims from the car. This was another part of the reality of the accident. Finally, one person was taken to each of the two awaiting ambulances, two were temporarily laid out on the ground and covered with a white sheet, and one young man was led away in handcuffs. An air ambulance helicopter was called in to take one of the victims quickly to the regional medical center.
The Utah Highway Patrol has coordinated several mock accidents at high schools over the past few years to show the hazards of driving while distracted or impaired and to show that seat belts save lives.
The event at Spanish Fork High School was developed and coordinated by Blake Bradford of the UHP over a three- to four-month period. It involved the Spanish Fork police and fire departments and the Utah County Sheriff’s Department. Judd’s Towing provided the cars. The accident depiction was so realistic that at one point it appeared to bring tears to the eyes of Officer Bradford.
Spanish Fork High School students learned about the dangers of distracted and impaired driving while watching a mock accident scene staged by emergency responders at the school