Multiple Teams · Sobering lesson: Mock crash teaches effects of drunk, distracted driving

In a scene straight from a modern nightmare, two vehicles sat twisted together as bloodstained teenagers screamed for help from the emergency responders rushing to the scene, the emergency sirens piercing the quiet St. Augustine High School court yard with discord.

Even staged, the scene from the Sudden Impact mock crash was shocking to all the students, who watched in stunned silence as the drama unfolded before them.

The mock crash was held before prom and graduation to bring students’ attention to the heartbreaking consequences that poor decisions can bring.

The crash may have been staged, but the performances by students, parents and staff gave the students a taste of the real-life experience in the moments after a tragic accident. The crash claimed the life of one of their peers, injured others and resulted in the imprisonment of another.

The St. Augustine Film Crew captured the action.

The number one killer of teens is motor vehicle crashes. While alcohol represents a danger, distracted driving and speed are also factors of concern.

Further, high speeds, combined with alcohol, texting or even friends in the vehicle, increases the risk for inexperienced teenage drivers. To bring attention to these concerns, the mock crash also featured a panel discussion on the dangers of distracted driving and the importance of making smart choices.

To bring realism to the event, the participating students are coated in blood, to resemble the injuries sustained in their accident. The students also witness firefighters using the jaws of life on one vehicle to free a trapped passenger, a Louisiana State Police Officer performed field sobriety tests on their drunk peer and the student actors are transported from the scene in ambulances, police cars and, in one case, a body bag.

“Our goal in doing this mock crash is to get the kids as close to feeling an impact without actually experiencing it,” State Trooper John Simon said. “We want them to make it to graduation and beyond, and to have a happy life.”

In Louisiana alone, a death is caused by a motor vehicle crash or accident every 12 hours. The interactive program was designed to decrease injuries and fatalities due to driving impaired, driving without using a seat belt and distracted driving. Sudden Impact was created by the LSU Level 1 Trauma Center in New Orleans and the Louisiana State Police.

Here is another safe driving video produced by the St. Augustine High School Film Crew.