Crash staged to warn students
Pre-prom event is safety reminder
A 911 tape boomed over loudspeakers as sirens blared and lights flashed at Burlington High School yesterday afternoon. Students lined up across the street from what looked like a deadly head-on car crash, watching as police and fire officials responded.
Good thing none of it was real.
“We had two cars posed in a head-on crash,’’ said Amy Doughty, a teacher at Burlington High and the school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions adviser. “The students were able to view a real-time rescue of a four-person crash with one fatality.’’
With the senior prom tomorrow and the junior prom two weeks later, organizers put the scene together to remind students to be aware of their actions, said Bernie Schipelliti, the town’s traffic safety officer.
“The mock crash is something that we like to put on to remind the kids of what poor decisions can lead to,’’ he said. “Drinking and driving, not buckling up, getting in a car with an impaired driver — those decisions all have consequences past the event, past that roadside stop.’’
Boston MedFlight, Burlington police, and Burlington fire responded to the mock accident.
Four senior drama students acted as the victims of the mock crash, Doughty said. One was “seriously injured’’ and loaded onto the MedFlight helicopter, two were “injured’’ and placed in ambulances, and one was “killed.’’
In the mock accident’s final minutes, the sirens were shut off, the transmissions were muted, and the helicopter was silent, Schipelliti said.
“Everything goes quiet, but we still have a person under a sheet in the middle of the road,’’ he said. “The audio-visual aspect is huge with this. That’s what brings it to people.’’
The mock crash lasted about 45 minutes, Schipelliti said. Organizers hope it will have a lasting impression.
“I think it’s an effective way to remind them of what could happen,’’ Doughty said. “If one person makes a better decision because of this, then it was entirely worth everybody’s effort.’’