ThinkFirst teen

Mt. Zion High School students to experience crash reenactment

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Mount Zion High School students will experience a crash reenactment at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, April 26, at Braves Parkway, east of the school at 305 S. Henderson St. in Mount Zion. Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s ThinkFirst injury prevention program will assist in planning and presenting the event.

Students need to "think first" about the repercussions of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and other substances. Today's students also need to recognize that riding with a distracted driver can have the same consequences as riding with a driver who is under the influence of intoxicants, substances or stimulants. On the day of the event, sights and sounds associated with an emergency response are to be expected.

At the event, emergency personnel normally summoned after a car crash will simulate their response tasks. Those involved in planning and implementing the event include the Mt. Zion Police and Fire Departments; Macon County Sheriff’s Office; Owens Towing Service in Mt. Zion; Calvert Wikoff Funeral Home in Mt. Zion; Audio Techni Services in Springfield; Air Evac Lifeteam 182; Mt. Zion High School faculty, administration, and students; Mt. Zion HS SADD Chapter; Mt. Zion & Decatur Park Districts; Illinois Chiefs of Police and SIU School of Medicine’s ThinkFirst program.

Guest speakers for the event are Mike Burkham and Macon County Judge Shane Mendenhall.

“The purpose of the crash reenactment program is to show the real-life consequences of risk-taking behaviors,” says Nate Saint, health education coordinator with ThinkFirst. “This event illustrates 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 Saint.

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 are invited to contact Saint at SIU School of Medicine, P.O. Box 19679, Springfield, IL 62794-9604, 217-545-9112 or e-mail

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