Scared safe at Span­ish Fork High School

Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Ed Helmick

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

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