“In less time than it takes to say ‘buckle up’ a non-seatbelted driver of a vehicle without airbags is most likely dead in an accident at 55MPH,” read a police officer over speakers to 600 Asheville High School juniors and seniors.
Packed onto the front stairs, the students watched a mock fatal accident and what a response would look like in the Asheville area. Beginning with a passer-by calling 911, the victim narrated things from his perspective as if he was alive. “Oh, hey… don’t call 911.. just call my dad, he will come fix this mess” and “Why are you guys tearing the door off, just get me out, I will be fine” were some of the lines read for the victim.
The Asheville Fire and Rescue Department went through the whole extrication including cutting the roof off the car. A NC State Trooper removed beer cans from the floor of the car. The unfortunate victim played by an Asheville High student was removed and worked up by Buncombe County paramedics and pronounced dead at the scene. Adding a bit of reality, an Asheville Police Department car arrived with the distraught parents, played by Asheville police officers, who had to be restrained.
There were not a lot of smiles in the crowd of students. The junior class has already lost one of their own in a fatal crash last winter, they can certainly relate. Some students appeared downright shocked at the work being done. Others turned their heads at some points.
Distraught ‘parents’ being restrained from interfering with treatment of their ‘son.’ The accident scene was part of a driving awareness class at Asheville High School.
The lesson was put on by officials from Asheville Fire and Rescue, Asheville Police Department, Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department, North Carolina Highway Patrol, District Attorney Ron Moore, North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Law Enforcement and Bucombe County EMS.
One thing school officials learned, said Charlie Glazener of Asheville City Schools, “Well, we know how many students fit on the front stairs of the high school now.”