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April 27, 2013 - Jodelle Greiner
I’ve been going to accident scenes since my early 20’s and I tend to forget that not everyone has seen a vehicle accident.
I went to my second mock accident Thursday at Blue Earth Area High School. The first one was a few years ago for Lakeview school in Cottonwood, in southwestern Minnesota.
I figured, piece of cake, I’ve seen the real thing, a mock accident will be no problem.
Larissa Hatfield said it best after BEA’s accident Thursday, “Even though it wasn’t real, it felt really real.”
A girl was “killed” in the Lakeview accident and afterwards, the students went to the auditorium for her “memorial service”. Her mother spoke to the students. Her daughter was standing just off-stage and Mom had probably watched the girl put together the video tribute, but she was having a hard time keeping her emotions under control. I understood — she was living every parent’s worst nightmare, watching it unfold before her eyes.
The difference for her was she got to take her daughter home that night.
A few years ago, I heard one law officer talk to students about what they find at accidents.
“You don’t die in an accident; you are killed. It is violent,” he said.
I think the first responders did a great job with the mock accident in Blue Earth Thursday, but no matter how much fake blood they used, they can’t duplicate the reality of crashes.
First responders see some horrendous things when they come up on accidents: limbs that are torn off, insides on the outside, heads broken open like melons. And before you complain about how gruesome that is, remember that is the reality of automobile crashes. And that is what first responders see.
No wonder they don’t want to have to see their own kids like that.
The mock accident Thursday was an opportunity for the firefighters, law officers, EMS, and others to get some valuable practice in procedures and using the tools of their trade. It was also an important thing for the kids to witness, seeing what can happen if they are not careful behind the wheels of those heavy, fast-moving machines.
Mock accidents are usually staged around prom and graduation time, but I want the kids to remember this lesson way after the festivities are done, because drunk and distracted driving accidents can happen any time of the year. And they are always painful for your loved ones.
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