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April 11, 2013

Mock Crash Scene Gives Students Up-Close Look at Avoidable Tragedy



MOCK DRILL - Students look on as ambulance personnel and law enforcement officers attend to a "victim" of a staged two-car accident in the high school parking lot.

It is the time of year when high school students start turning their attention to prom dresses and tuxedos and to graduation and summer vacation. Unfortunately these dates on the calendar often coincide with increased thoughts of alcohol consumption that can be associated with these celebrations.

Students at Scotland County R-I got an up-close and personal look at one of the devastating consequences that such life choices can result in. On Wednesday, April 3rd, the Scotland County Ambulance service hosted a mock traffic accident for students from across northeast Missouri.

The SCR-I student body along with Scotland County Hospital Med Club students from Schuyler, Clark and Knox county schools, assembled in the high school gym prior to the drill for a brief introduction. All students were allowed the option to opt out of participating if there were any emotional connections with the scenario or the actors involved.

"We had a system in place for this ahead of time with the guidance counselor," said organizer Jason Moss, director of the Scotland County Ambulance Service.

As several hundred students exited the high school they witnessed a two-vehicle accident scene staged in the school parking lot. Students were allowed to get a close up look at the crash scene, quickly noticing that the occupants of one vehicle were a pair of popular SCR-I staff members. Troy and Elizabeth Carper were in the vehicle which had been struck by a second car, whose occupants were prom-bound SCR-I students Zach Miller and Anna Hirner.

"The students were allowed to view the scene up close to get a connection with the sights and smells we put in place," stated Moss. "Then they got behind the safety lines and the emergency vehicles responded to the scene in the order they would to an emergency call in town."

Once the stage was set, the students witnessed the drama unfold. Troy Carper and Miller exited their vehicles. Miller, decked out in his tuxedo, spilled beer cans from the car as he tried to escape the carnage of the crash scene, not to mention Carper's wrath, as his wife remained crumpled in the passenger seat of the car, mortally injured.

Moss narrated the mock drill from a central location, informing the students of the elements of the crash and detailing the activities of the responding agencies.

Law enforcement officers were first on the scene. The Memphis Police Department worked to secure the mock crash site, separating the growing confrontation between Carper and Miller.



The Highway Patrol was next to arrive, with Sergeant Michael Kauth running Miller through a field sobriety test in front of the students before placing him under arrest. He was handcuffed and escorted to the patrol vehicle as ambulance and fire department personnel began working on the crash scene.

A white sheet was placed over SCR-I instructor Elizabeth Carper, representing a crash fatality.

The fire department used the jaws of life to extricate Hirner from her vehicle and the ambulance crew stabilized her for transport to the ambulance, all under the watchful eyes of her classmates just feet away.

The most gripping portion of the drill was the final act. Carper was extricated from her vehicle and placed in a body bag for transport by Payne Funeral Chapel.

Following the drill, students met with emergency service personnel in the high school commons to answer questions regarding the process. The presentation included physicians, a judge, and law enforcement who discussed various topics related to teen driving and the responsibilities and laws associated with it.


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