CLARKSVILLE, IN (May 13, 2022) – Don’t be a statistic. That was the message behind an emotional and graphic demonstration at Clarksville Senior High School on Friday. The Clarksville Fire Department teamed up with Clarksville Schools in hopes of preventing local teens from making a mistake that could change their life forever.
“What we did here today was a mock car crash, a simulated drunk driver incident,” said Clarksville Police Corporal John Miller.
The crash scene was set up on the Clarksville High School track, with the entire Senior class watching from the stands. Several students served as actors and actresses for the demonstration, dressed in formal wear as if they were enjoying prom night.
“Prom is actually tomorrow,” said CHS Senior and demonstration volunteer Victoria Potts. “So we’re really demonstrating how precious life is and how small decisions can have serious consequences.”
Those consequences came to life through the performance of student actors and local emergency responders. The event started with screams from the cars, student actresses pleading for someone to help. Next, a young lady dressed in a prom dress ran up to the cars, pulled out her phone, and pretended to call 9-1-1. The track’s sound system then came to life with a pre-recorder mock 9-1-1 call.
Moments later, a police cruiser, ambulance, and fire truck drove onto the track, and emergency responders leapt into action. While police comforted the victims and secured the scene, firefighters used the jaws of life to cut the crash victims from their cars.
“There are so many different ways to learn different things,” said Potts. “So if you actually see the physical thing happening, it becomes more serious than if you just heard about it.”
The most heartbreaking part of the demonstration was when rescue crews found the body of a teen boy bloodied and laying on the hood of one of the vehicles. That’s when the coroner was called to the scene with a body bag in tow. As the teen’s body was loaded into the bag and rolled over to the coroner’s vehicle, the boy’s mother came running up screaming for her son.
“Young kids today, they just don’t think about the consequences of some of their choices,” said Clarksville Deputy Fire Chief Dennis Johnson. “We’re wanting to give them a visual example so maybe it will help them make a better choice.”
When the demonstration came to an end, all the student actors and actresses received an applause from their fellow students. The day ended with students getting the opportunity to ask questions about what they had just witnessed.
“If we can save a life or prevent someone from getting hurt, this makes all this worth it,” said Deputy Chief Johnson. “Hopefully this will be an eye opener for everyone.”