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April 27, 2012

SIU Med School to Hold Crash Reenactment Program at Raymond

Students at Lincolnwood High School will witness a mock crash reenactment presented in part by "ThinkFirst," an injury prevention program offered by Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield. The reenactment will begin at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 2 at the Lincolnwood High School, 317 East Broad Street in Raymond.  

The outdoor event depicts what can happen when young drivers drink and drive or ride with distracted or impaired drivers. Wrecked vehicles will be on site. Some students will be dressed and made-up to appear as crash victims.

Emergency personnel normally summoned after a car crash will simulate their tasks. Those assisting are Lincolnwood High School staff and SADD Chapter, Raymond/Harvel Fire and Ambulance,  Raymond Police, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois State Police, Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, Montgomery County Coroner Rick Broaddus and Deputy Coroner Joletta Hill, Hough Funeral Home and Dave Watson’s Collision Shop. Brian Crawford’s Tire & Auto will provide vehicles and towing. Make-up for “victims” will be coordinated by SIU ThinkFirst staff. Guest speakers for this event will be State Police Trooper Doug Francis and Coroner Broaddus.  

“The purpose of the crash reenactment program is to show the real-life consequences of risk-taking behaviors,” says Mary Kay Reed, SIU instructor of surgery and project director. “Students are capable of making intelligent decisions.” This local program is a chapter of the ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation. ThinkFirst is presented as a public service at no cost to the school.

Each year 430,000 brain and spinal cord injuries occur in the United States; one-third happens to people between the ages of 15 and 24. "This year there will be over 1,200 brain injuries and over 800 spinal injuries in a 40-county area of central Illinois. The tragedy is most of these injuries are preventable," explains Reed.

ThinkFirst is funded by SIU School of Medicine and a federal grant provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation and administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety. Those interested in the program are invited to contact Reed at SIU School of Medicine, P.O. Box 19679, Springfield, IL 62794-9679, 217-545-9112.