Fake crash leaves behind real impact for Lawton high schoolers

Students line to watch a mock car crash.
Students line to watch a mock car crash.(KSWO)
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 6:24 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - With prom right around the corner for most high schools, Lawton police and other first responders made a stop at Eisenhower High School where they staged a DUI collision.

“This is a worst case scenario, but we hope that this hits home with the children, or with high school kids going out and partaking in prom night. If you do make a poor decision this can potentially happen to you,” said the public information officer for the Lawton Police Department, Sgt. Chris Blessing.

While last year students watched a video, on Wednesday they watched classmates portray victims in a crumpled car right next to the school.

Fire crews cut through the roof of the car to retrieve injured students before transporting them via stretcher to a waiting ambulance. Eisenhower student Emma Eschler played the most injured victim; she was loaded onto a helicopter and flown away in a simulated flight evacuation.

Meanwhile, students watched as police ran the fake driver through a sobriety test.

Eschler said, “Sometimes it takes seeing things in person, in real life what might happen to really realize the consequences of your actions. I think it’ll make a big impact on our students.”

Actors also played distressed parents, who descended on the crash.

Sgt. Blessing said, “Hopefully that hits home to them cause they don’t want to put their parents in a situation like that, nor do they wanna put themselves or friends in that situation.”

Officials say prom is a time to have fun, and the last thing anyone wants is for this mock crash to become a reality.

“So please make good decisions that night,” Sgt. Blessing said. “Have fun, be safe. Parents have fun, be safe, and just be mindful of what your children are doing and where they’re at.”

Teachers hope the staged crash will help students visualize the consequences of drunk driving.

Assistant Principal of Eisenhower High School Andrea Tracy said, “They don’t always understand that they’re not invincible. They don’t understand that the choices they make now will have these long term consequences, and for me this was very impactful and I really hope our students make good choices this year.”