Mock crash, real consequences

The Students Against Destructive Decisions club at CFHS recently put on a mock crash to warn against the dangers of driving impaired.


Nathan Baszuro

At the end of the mock crash a helicopter landed in the front lawn of the school to air lift one of the mock crash participants.

One decision, one moment, and one poor thought can change the lives of you and many others. Organized by the club Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), as well as the Cannon Falls Emergency Department, a recent mock crash showed many students the harmful consequences that could result from impaired driving. With many teams of people working together, including SADD students, paramedics, firefighters, and the police, the group worked hard to organize an impactful scene with a powerful message of the horrifying effect of drunk driving. 

Organizing the event, SADD board members met with EMT lieutenant Sulo Kyyra to plan the scene. Assigning roles, the SADD board discussed what message they wanted to convey, as well as what responsibilities they would have in the scene. Sulo Kyyra expressed the importance that the mock crash has, and what emotional effect it can have on others. 

On April 29th, all students participating in the scene met together, as well as the parents to further discuss the scene. Finalizing a plan, the students and parents were made fully aware of how important yet difficult portraying and observing the roles would be. Parents, who are also firefighters, also expressed the emotions that came with both being a parent working on the scene as they were going to tend to their family and friends. Towards the end of the meeting, the mock obituaries of seniors Tristin Qualey and Abigail Meyers were shared, causing a few tears among the parents. “I cried reading the obituaries of our friend’s children.” says one of the parents in the mock crash. “It was so powerful and I’m hoping it resonated with the students as well.”

On May 4th, the day of the mock crash arrived and students participating, as well as students who were helping with makeup, came to the fire hall at 7am to begin the facade. Preparing for the scene, students were covered with wounds, bruises, and fake blood with the help of Kallie Johnson, Ariana Moellers, and Liana Bentzin Hall. Upon later arrival, the emergency department met together to discuss a plan to carry out the scene, and all hands were on deck to prepare. As it was time to head down to the high school, nerves from the students participating began to arise as they prepared to act out their dreadful scenario. “I’m so nervous” one student acting in the crash expressed, “I didn’t expect this to feel so real.”

At the scene, two cars with broken windows were put together to simulate a head-on collision. Bryce Peer portraying an impaired driver, tested for impaired driving and later arrested for driving under the influence. Abigail Meyers was found ejected out of the vehicle to show not only a consequence of impaired driving, but also the effect of not using a seatbelt. As the emergency department attempted to save her, they showed a failed attempt and she, as well as Tristin Qualey, who was dead on scene, were zipped into body bags and went into a hearse. 

In critical condition, Maddie Becker and Grace Swanson were both found unconscious in the car. Showing the actions taken when a victim is trapped inside the vehicle, Swanson was excavated out of the car by the firefighters, and strapped onto a body board to go into the ambulance. Also simulating a victim in need of critical condition and air care, Becker was shown getting strapped onto a body board and put into an emergency helicopter to be airlifted to an urgent care facility. 

Kalee Anderson and Jack Meyers potrayed “walking wounded,” showing minor injuries, portraying the shock that can be felt while involved with and watching a horrifying scene. “Even just watching the scene from afar while acting wounded, it looked so real.” said Anderson. “It was really hard to watch.” Narrating the event, a sheriff helped explain each outcome of the mock scenario, while informing the spectators of the devastating effects that can follow a crash. 

After the event, officer Johnson explained the consequences of impaired and distracted driving, while also emphasizing the importance of seatbelt use. He concluded that if in a difficult situation, it is always important to call for help if needed. Impaired driving is never the answer, and asking for help before getting behind the wheel or driving with another impaired person is crucial in avoiding a preventable and heartbreaking accident. Summarizing the event, Sulo Kyyra says “If just one kid makes a better life choice because of this event, then it’s all worth it.”