Auburn students learn dangers of distracted driving
RINER – Several ambulances, rescue squad trucks, police vehicles and a medical helicopter occupied the football field at Auburn High School Wednesday afternoon during a “mock car accident” scene.
As part of an assembly held by AHS, the crash scene was geared toward making students aware of the dangers of distracted driving, especially during prom and graduation season.
The assembly, called “Shattered Dreams,” was sponsored by the New River Driving School.
Students witnessed an accurate re-enactment of a two-car accident involving a distracted student driver. Law enforcement, fire department and rescue squad personnel were on scene assessing simulated injuries and fatalities.
Sherri Blevins of the New River Driving School said she hopes the event will make students aware of the consequences of being a distracted driver.
“In this particular scene, students will witness a driver distracted because of cell phone use, loud music and overcrowding in the car,” Blevins said. “There will be pre-recorded audio played while students are in the car and when the accident occurs, personnel will rush to the scene.”
Minutes after police, fire and rescue personnel were “on the scene,” a medical transport helicopter landed on the football field. Three members of Carilion’s Life Guard 11 joined in the reenactment.
While several teams worked at the crash site, a member from each of those teams used the public address system to explain to students what their team was doing with each patient.
Auburn High Principal Carl Paulie hopes the assembly helps students understand the accident is a real scenario that could happen to them, if they don’t take the proper precautions.
“We’d rather them see it while it’s staged than them having to experience it for real,” Paulie said. “We kind of hope there’s enough shock value that they avoid the behaviors that lead to such accidents.”
At times, hundreds of students watched in silence.
Sophomore Jake Shelburne said the assembly was different than other ones he’s been to.
“This just shows that it really is important to be a safe driver and make good decisions,” Shelburne said.
Another sophomore, Laura Vaughn, said the assembly reaffirms that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re not going to be safe while driving and you’re not paying attention, than anything can happen,” Vaughn said. “Make smart decisions. You shouldn’t be texting while you’re driving or that song you want to change, it can wait. It’s not more important than your life.”
The event was a collaborative effort between members of the Riner Rescue Squad, Riner Fire Department, Montgomery Country Sherriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, Carilion Life Guard 11, Horne’s Funeral Service, Total Car Care Towing Service and the AHS Youth of Virginia Speak Out club.
Blevins said the next “Shattered Dreams” assembly will be held at Eastern Montgomery High School May 11.
The Roanoke Times | 381-8627
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