Tragic Accident Reenactment Fabricated to Create Sobering Impact

Monday morning, June 3, seemingly got off to a horrific start at Jefferson Township High School.

In actuality, it was the biennial mock accident program implemented in 1994 by Eric Wilsusen, who was at that time the township’s drug abuse resistance education (DARE) officer. The program is presented every two years for high school juniors and seniors prior to the prom and graduation to teach about the dangers of impaired driving and the importance of making good choices.

The performance involves Jefferson police, fire, rescue, first aid, students, and administration as well as Atlantic Air One medevac. The high school students begin their morning with a program in the auditorium discussing prom and graduation. Then they are moved outside to encounter the “just happened accident scene” – two cars, a family, and prom-goers. Events unfold as they would in real time.

First responders arrive, starting with the police, who quickly assess that alcohol was involved. Then the fire, rescue, and first aid teams arrive. Each car has several victims and there is one fatality. The students watch the process unfold: the driver arrested, the victims extricated from the vehicles, the mother coming to identity her deceased daughter. A medevac helicopter arrives to whisk off the most severely injured. A bouquet of red flowers is placed on the sheet-covered body.

The powerful program concluded with Mayor Wilsusen addressing the students about the importance of making good choices and appreciating first responders.

In addition to Atlantic Air One Medevac, the following Jefferson organizations were involved in the presentation: Police Department, Office of Emergency Management, Fire Companies 1 and 2, Milton First Aid Squad, Jefferson Township Rescue Squad, and high school administration and faculty. Cars for the demonstration were provided by Sars Auto Wreckers of Oak Ridge.

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