By Elena Lapa
With summer approaching fast, as well as the junior and senior proms, the Wethersfield Volunteer Ambulance Association in conjunction with the Wethersfield Fire and Police Departments staged a mock car accident with staff and student actors to show students at Wethersfield High School the dangers of distracted driving.
The entire school was witness to the production on April 23 on a brisk morning. There were two motor vehicles smashed into each other, one car containing a mother and son who were hit by an oncoming car with four passengers in which the driver was intoxicated. Senior Jane Rumley, the actor in the passenger seat, passed away because the driver of the car decided to make the wrong choices. One bad choice made by the driver (played by junior Jarrett Livingston) caused so much chaos not only in the victims lives, but their families and friends as well.
The goal of the mock car crash was to help bring awareness to students to help them make the right decisions and to think twice about being distracted while driving.
During the incident,Wethersfield Fire Chief Richard Bailey spoke to juniors and seniors to help them understand that this could happen to any of you if you make the wrong decisions. He wanted to speak directly to the crowd to help them to understand what can occur if you make the wrong choices while driving.
As the Wethersfield Fire Department was breaking apart the car to get each victim out, Chief Bailey spoke to the students and said, “You could be the one in that vehicle. You could be the one in that body bag or on that stretcher. Think twice before you get behind the wheel.”
Senior Lily Langdon described the scene as “Very overwhelming. This whole thing has become eye opening to see how law enforcement responds after an accident.”
This mock car crash is something that is very real and can happen to anyone. Adnan Fejzic described it as, “Something that started off as a joke, turned real in just a matter of seconds.”
Mrs. Kelly Clark, the assistant chief in Wethersfield, followed by her team, spoke about what the mock car crash was meant for. It was in that room where the juniors and seniors became silent and began to understand why this is such a serious matter. It is important to understand that this exercise will be used as a lesson to use good judgement, and to not drive distracted. None of us want to see our friends get pulled out in a body bag, and none of us want to be in that body bag. It’s up to us to try and make the right choices not just for ourselves but for everyone around us as well.
For more information on distracted driving, see the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website on the subject at: https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving
Stay safe while driving, Eagles!