By Kelsie Hoitomt
GLENWOOD CITY — Last Wednesday, May 1, a scene of the unimaginable occurred at the parking lot at the Glenwood City High School; a prom trauma mock accident.
The entire high school watched as the scene unfolded as teenagers in their prom dresses and tuxes decided to get into a car with an intoxicated friend behind the wheel. The music is playing and the driver reaches to turn the radio station and then there are screams and squealing tires as two vehicles collide.
Students Kenzie Kruse, Maggie Jordheim, Ashley Burns, Troy Hall, Ethan Brandt, Lydia McClelland, and Kaylin Spaeth each participated in the accident scene with Brandt being the drunk driver and Spaeth the fatality.
The other students looked on as 9-1-1 was contacted and the police were dispatched. Officer Joe Heath and State Trooper Rob Unruh sped to the scene with sirens blaring. After evaluating the situation, the Glenwood City EMS and Fire Department were dispatched to extract two teens from the vehicle and send them to the hospital in the ambulances.
One student was supposed to take a ride in a Lifelink helicopter with pilot Joel Timblin, but due to the weather it was cancelled.
Brandt was evaluated and given a sobriety test and eventually handcuffed and taken to the county jail.
After both ambulances left, the fire department assisted the coroner as the hearse arrived on scene. Spaeth was wrapped in a body bag, placed on a gurney and driven off by Dean Anderson.
Mike’s Auto Body then arrived to clear the accident scene and haul both vehicles back to the shop.
This entire simulation including the audio of the crash and the make-up was put on by the Mayo Clinic Health System with the assistance of Kelsey Rau of the Mayo Clinic. Chief of Police, Robert Darwin also worked to organize this event as well as the Glenwood City School District and the Glenwood City EMS and Fire Department.
The entire presentation lasted roughly 30-40 minutes and then the students filed into the gymnasium where they heard from a hospital Chaplain. The Chaplain explained her job from the time the phone call comes in, to notifying the parents, meeting the family at the hospital and then sharing the news. Tears began to flow as the Chaplain gave a real life scenario of this to Kaylin’s parents, Bill and Vicky.
The mock accident presentation itself was then concluded by Timblin and his wife Becky who spoke about traffic accident statistics with teenage drivers and then they shared what is likely to happen to a person while in the emergency room. This was all made very real to the students after the Timblin’s shared they had recently lost their son in a car accident after his car was struck by a drunk driver.
This simulation was presented to students and teens as a reminder to never get into a vehicle with a drunk driver and to not drink and drive themselves; just say no. Also distracted driving such as using a cell phone can be deadly as well.
Officer Darwin shared that those who organized the event and the school district would like to do this simulation every four years to keep reminding students of the dangers and responsibilities that come with being behind the wheel.