Crash reenactment will educate Beardstown H.S. students
Students at Beardstown High School and Beardstown Christian Academy will experience a crash reenactment at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 29, at Beardstown High School, 500 E. 15th St., Beardstown. ThinkFirst, an injury prevention program based at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, will assist in planning and presenting the event.
The reenactment will focus on what can happen when young drivers drink and drive or ride with distracted or impaired drivers. On the day of the event, sights and sounds associated with an emergency response are to be expected.
Emergency personnel normally summoned after a car crash will simulate their tasks. Some students will be dressed and made-up to appear as crash victims.
Those involved in planning and implementing the event include the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, Beardstown Fire and Ambulance, Beardstown Police Department, Illinois State Police, Illinois Chiefs of Police, Beardstown High School and Beardstown Christian Academy faculty and administration, Audio Techni Services, Air Evac, Colwell Memorial Home, Osmer Enterprises Auto Repair and SIU School of Medicine’s ThinkFirst program.
Guest speakers will be Cass County Coroner Devron Ohrn, Illinois State Police Officer Brice Hager, retired Judge Bobby Hardwick, Danny Hicks (a victim speaker) and Mark O’Hara (a parent).
“The purpose of the crash reenactment program is to show the real-life consequences of risk-taking behaviors,” says Megan Eairheart, director of ThinkFirst. “It will illustrate what can happen when a bad decision is made. We want students to be informed and make intelligent decisions, particularly behind the wheel of a car.”
Each year 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries and 12,000 to 20,000 new spinal cord injuries occur in the United States; one-third happen to people between the ages of 15 and 24. “The tragedy is most of these injuries are preventable,” says Eairheart.
The SIU School of Medicine ThinkFirst program is a chapter of the ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation and presents events as a public service at no cost to schools. An Illinois Department of Transportation grant supports the program. Those interested in learning more can contact Eairheart at SIU School of Medicine, P.O. Box 19679, Springfield, IL 62794-9604, 217-545-9112.