Dunn County Coroner Kirk Kroll made a stop at Killdeer Public School to collect several dead bodies after a two-car accident.
More than a hundred students watched him take away classmates.
They watched as firefighters literally cut a car to pieces to get to a student “trapped” inside.
They watched as blankets covered students on the ground.
Luckily, all the injured and dead got up and went back to school a short time later.
By Brad Mosher
For about an hour, there was a demonstration exercise by the student chapter of SADD (Students Against Dangerous Decisions) at the school, with help from the Killdeer Ambulance, West Dunn Fire and Rescue, Killdeer Police Department, Dunn County Emergency Management and the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office.
Erin McFadden was one of the seriously wounded in the demonstration, which had her waiting to be saved in the driver’s seat of the car resting on top of another.
“Today we did a mock car crash. I think it was pretty successful.
“The kids had shocked faces. We had really good actors do it. I think they got the message through …. don’t drink and drive… don’t text and drive,” she explained.
“One of the drivers was drinking and one of the drivers was texting,” McFadden added.
The student advisor, Courtney Vettel, agreed with McFadden. “We worked through the county to put on a mock car crash to bring awareness to students on the dangers of texting and driving, but also the dangers of drinking and driving.
“We host this event bi-annually, every other year. It is just a really good way to show kids exactly what these accidents can do and how they affect everyone around them,” she added.
The presentation also tried to hit on social media and how it could impact people. “The appropriateness of posting a picture or video of the accident when they come up on it … and how that is not appropriate,” she said.
In addition, the chapter also pushed for the students to remember to use their seat belts when they are in a car.
“The two team members who were deceased (in the demonstration) didn’t have their seat belts on,” Vettel added.
The purpose of the demonstration was to show how many people were involved in handling accident after it has occurred, including the number of firefighters responding, to the number of ambulance crews needed is determined by the casualties.
In addition to having students act as casualties with make up, the demonstration also had a parent arriving on the scene for find out her daughter had died in the “accident.”
For the students, the “accident” was make believe.
For the first responders, it was something they have seen countless times on local roads, for real, and where the “dead” and “wounded” don’t get up and go back to school minutes later.
For the first responders, it is also something they see happening all the time.
The same day as the exercise, a Clemson University student ready to graduate died in a highway crash.
A week earlier, an 18-year old twin in Utah died in a car accident that would mean her sister would be graduating alone. She was a passenger in a car that ran a red light and collided with another vehicle.
Just over a month ago, three members of a family died in a car crash on their way to see their father in the hospital. A fourth survived the crash in critical condition.
For Dunn County Emergency Management’s Denise Brew, it was important for the students at Killdeer to learn they have to drive safely and was also important to see what happens when the responders arrive at the scene of an accident.
“It is trying to bring awareness to them,” Brew explained.
According to Dunn County Sheriff Gary Kuhn, the event was a great training exercise at the Killdeer campus. He also wanted to thank other first responders.
“Thank you Dunn County Emergency Manager Denise Brew for setting up the event. Also we thank all our local first responder agencies that participated including West Dunn Fire, Killdeer Ambulance, Dunn County Coroner, Killdeer PD, as well as the volunteer crisis actors who did an outstanding job,” he posted on Facebook.