This is the account of a MOCK accident to express to young drivers the
importance of drinking/texting while driving.
At 0900, Principal Martin walked upon a 2 car accident, this scene was
in the front of the main entrance to the Thomas Stone High School,
involving 6 patients. Principal Martin used his radio to call for the
school resource officer with the Charles County Sheriffs Office. When
he arrived, he radioed CCSO for assistance. Tones were dropped at
0902 for Fire 3/12 and EMS 3/12. Within minutes Squad 3 arrived,
followed by Ambulances 39 and 399 as the Charles County Sheriffs
office arrived and secured the scene. Crews quickly removed the 1
deceased student from the hood. The remaining 5 students were
evaluated and crews starting extrication. A few minutes later Rescue
Engine 123 arrived on scene with Ambulance 129. At this time Fire
Chief 3, JR Hayden, was in command and medical sector was established
and ran by Deputy Chief Burns, EMS 12B. Suppression line was
established and crews started to remove the roof of one vehicle as the
other vehicle had the door removed, in both cases the jaws of life
were used. During the start of the extrication, due to the injuries,
a helicopter was requested and Trooper 7 arrived on scene and landed
on the other side of Rt5 (Leonardtown Road) with the assistance of Engine 31 and EMS
During the removal of the 5 students from the second car, the scene
was crowded with press, photographers and an additional 600 students
looking on from both sides of the accident. The mood quickly changed
in the bleachers as the students watched. They grew silent even
though they all knew it was a mock accident. It was the realization
that this happens all over the United Stated due to drunk driving and
texting while driving or commonly referred to as "distracted driving".
This new term (distracted driving) and the old common name of
"DUI/DWI" continue to claim lives at the rate of "Every 15 Minutes"
and we hope that demonstrations like this will help influence all
drivers young and old.
This scene ended 45 minutes later, with one fatality, and 4
transported to the hospital, with 3 ambulances and 1 helicopter. The
driver who was only slightly hurt was arrested on scene after failing
the field sobriety test and was led away in handcuffs. The fact that
one persons decision can affect so many lives is heart breaking to the
people involved and the families who love these people.
Throughout the day, the Grim Reaper (EMS 12 Mitchell Lewis) went with
a deputy sheriff room to room calling a student's name every 15
minutes until the end of the school day. All of these students were
volunteers and had to work with their parents to produce their own
obituaries which were read to their classmates after they were removed
from class. The student was taken to the moulage (make-up) station
and "death face" was applied. After they put on the Every 15 Minute
t-shirt, they were escorted back to class. During the rest of the
day, these students didn't speak, text, or have any interaction as
they were "dead". Outside of the school CCSO and EMS 3 Utility went
to a few parent's homes that volunteered in participating in the
program and were "notified" of the loss of their son/daughter. When
the end of the day arrived, 30 students were "deceased" from the high
school as they grouped together in the parking lot as a last reminder
to the students that drove a vehicle from the school that day, and a
solid reminder of what one decision can do to a school.
Within minutes after the last bell, all 30 were on a bus going to the
Charles County Courthouse for a sentencing trail. This event had a
real judge, real attorneys and a real outcome as if this was a real
accident. The judge listened to the prosecutor and listened with
intensity to the defense, but at the end of the trial, he had a hard
decision to make. That decision was to punish the young drunk driver
to the maximum extent allowable by Maryland law and remanded the young
lady in the orange jumpsuit to the care of the Sheriffs office.
The students were then placed back on the bus and were taken to Camp
Merrick (Lions Club sponsor) in Nanjemoy, MD. At the camp, the 30
students were allowed to speak and were provided a dinner by the
Waldorf VFD Auxiliary. The students played some games, finished
homework and then formed in a circle on the floor to discuss the days
events and the impact it had on them. That night, there wasn't a dry
eye in the place and many more tears were shed outside. The night
finished with each student having the opportunity to write Mom/Dad and
asked to finish the following:
Dear Mom and Dad, today was like any
other day, and as we drove to school another teen who had been
drinking drifted into our lane, and today I died. The one thing I
wanted to say to you was..........
I ask each one of you reading
this, take a minute to think about your time in the drivers seat, and
if you were the victim, how would you finished this letter?
The morning came quick and at 5 AM all students were woken up and
driven to LaPlata's Chick-Fil-A for a donated breakfast. The final
bus ride was back to Thomas Stone High School for a video presentation
of the previous days events. During the presentation, special guest
speakers Sheriff Rex Coffey and Washington Redskins Tim Hightower
impressed on the kids the importance in making good decisions.
Thank you to the Thomas Stone High School staff, especially Principal
Martin, Vice-Principal Meiser and SGA and Safe Driving Task Force Mr.
Aerial Video provided from Ladder Truck 9, Video editing and
production was done by Dave Williams, moulage art work was Sherry and
Big Thank you to the men and woman at the Waldorf Volunteer Fire
Department, who financially supported the event. The dept placed many
hours of donated time and resources into the event that went off as
planned, and in Emergency response and medicine, that is rare, but so
are the people of this department. Thanks to Chief JR Hayden, his support, leadership, mentoring, with his drive to make this program a reality guaranteed the program would not fail. Thanks to the EMS leadership,
Assistant Chief Lou Ramer, Deputy Chief Ronnie Burns, Deputy Chief
Vernon Monday. All this was made possible because of the amazing
support from the co-chair, Sgt Gabbie Hughes and my wife Joanna Yesse.
Our goal was to make a difference, and we know that April 12th, 2012
there was a difference made at Thomas Stone High School.