ANSONIA — Students, teachers, and school administrators gathered on the lawn outside Ansonia High School Thursday as local police, firefighters, and EMS workers staged a mock car accident.
Amanda Pulfer, a trauma nurse at Miami Valley Hospital, narrated the action as students unveiled a pair of vehicles arranged in order to simulate the aftermath of a head-on collision. Radios squawked and feedback whined as a simulated 911 call was played over large speakers positioned across the lawn.
“This is not a scare tactic,” Pulfer told the assembled students. “This is something we never want to see any of you guys get involved in.”
Students also played the part of passengers involved in the crash as the mock collision narrative continued to unfold. One, referred to by Pulfer as Kevin, splayed lifelessly across the hood of one vehicle, having been ejected when the cars collided; another, called Max, swayed drunkenly as he was given a field sobriety test by a responding Ansonia police officer.
“Max caused this accident because he was driving while intoxicated,” Pulfer said. “That means he will face charges of first-degree manslaughter. He will lose his license, face fines, and possibly even face jail time.”
Kevin, meanwhile, would suffer a more depressing fate.
“Notice Kevin is still sprawled across the hood, covered by that sad white sheet,” Pulfer said. “He’s going to stay there for a while, because he’s not a priority: there’s nothing the first responders can do for him.”
At this point, Pulfer noted, it’s been seven minutes since the collision. Careflight has not yet arrived, and several crash victims have still not been extracted from the car.
“Every minute, they continue to bleed, and their injuries continue to get worse,” Pulfer said.
Simulated radio communications blast through the speakers on the lawn, as police on the ground relay information about the surrounding area to the approaching Careflight pilots, helping them to avoid dangerous obstacles as they land.
“Launching Careflight costs $6,000 just to get the blades going,” Pulfer said. “This is a very expensive party, and a very expensive poor decision.”
Finally, the Careflight helicopter arrives. Students are extracted from one of the cars, its roof and one whole side having been nearly cut away. The most severely injured are taken away aboard the helicopter.
After the presentation, Laura Seger, of Piqua, said a few words. Seger’s teenage son, Joey – a senior at Piqua High School – was killed in a collision in 2010. The driver of the other vehicle had recently huffed compressed air in the parking lot of a nearby Meijer.
“My sister called and told me to meet her,” Seger said. “When she told me what happened, I remember saying, ‘This is the meanest joke you could ever play on me.’”
Joey collided with his father on his way out of the truck, according to Seger, breaking his neck and leaving him permanently disabled.
“Once there’s a white sheet on the ground and there’s a body under it, there’s no going back,” Seger told the students. “And no amount of I’m sorry will make it better.”
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