BASCOM - The purpose of a mock crash at Chieftain Stadium Wednesday morning was to try to prevent students from becoming a memory, a State Highway Patrol official said.
Lt. Brent Meredith of the Fremont post of State Highway Patrol said the program was developed because of a concern for students' safety.
"Life is precious, and we try to save what we can," said Don Kelbley, Seneca County's EMS director.
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
Rescue personnel check on victims during a mock crash at Chieftain Stadium Wednesday morning. A passenger was considered dead at the scene after she was thrown through the windshield.
Meredith said the Fremont post participates in three to four mock crashes in Sandusky and Seneca counties each year. Lynn Krupp, an EMT who helped plan the program, said juniors and seniors from Hopewell-Loudon High School and New Riegel High School attended the mock crash.
"We try to do it every two years," she said.
The mock crash involved a van striking the rear of a school bus because the driver was distracted while texting on a cell phone.
A passenger was ejected through the windshield and killed.
Meredith encouraged students to watch a clock during the real-time crash. He said it is critical a victim gets to an operating room within an hour of being injured in order to have the best chance of survival.
"Time is against us," Kelbley said.
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people in the students' age group, Meredith said.
"Only about three of 10 victims are wearing their seatbelts when they die in traffic crashes," he said.
Personnel from Bascom Joint Fire District, Bascom EMS, NBS Joint Fire District, New Riegel EMS, Seneca County's EMS program, Seneca County Sheriff's Office, State Highway Patrol, Life Flight, Engle-Shook Funeral Home and Crematory and John's Welding & Towing assisted with the program.
"(Volunteers are) here because we're concerned for your safety," Meredith said.
Several years ago, Hopewell-Loudon students were involved in an accident after a mock crash. Meredith said they provided a statement saying they typically did not wear seatbelts, but they were wearing them during the accident because of the mock crash presentation.
"You have to imagine that it has an effect on students," he said.