Mock OWI crash impacts Algoma high schoolers
The look on the young faces was the real story.
A re-enactment of a two-vehicle drunk driving accident at Algoma High School on Wednesday afternoon in front of its students was intended to teach high school students responsibility behind the wheel and making good decisions. The message was delivered.
“There was so much to learn,” said junior Elizabeth McClure.
“Seeing your friends,” said fellow junior Halle Vardon, “is much more surreal than reading an obituary.”
The teen audience was targeted this week as they learned the potential consequences of drinking and driving, texting while driving and speeding. It all unfolded in the nationwide program “Every 15 Minutes,” so named because every 15 minutes somebody in the country dies as a result of those circumstances. Algoma holds its junior prom Saturday night.
It climaxed with a mock accident scene at Feld Street and Flora Avenue, behind the school. Kewaunee County police, fire and rescue joined in the drill. The re-enactment had two injuries and two fatalities which included a baby.
As the event opened, driver Cassidy Kohlbeck frantically called 911 to report the horrific accident. Within minutes, rescue personnel were on the scene, offering aid to the survivors and covering the dead after attempts to revive. A Jaws of Life was used to extract the doll that stood in for the baby, still strapped in a car seat before it was whisked away in an emergency helicopter.
Covered in blood with an obvious head wound, passenger Shauna Slaby was dead on the scene while driver Tyler Paplham was transported in an ambulance.
The black-cloaked Grim Reaper walked around with his powerful presence of death.
The simulation continued with the arrest of the “drunk driver.” The family of the deceased victim went to the funeral home to make arrangements.
Following the re-enactment, students involved in the staging talked about the lessons learned and an overnight retreat was held at the Algoma Youth Club. Thursday, the students watched a video of the accident and a talk was given by Allie Adams, a real-life survivor of such a crash, and Ryan Costello, a friend of a person who died in a crash.
This article originally appeared on Wisconsin: Mock OWI crash impacts Algoma high schoolers