Mock crash points out dangers of impaired driving


IBERIA — Morrow County students are back to school and for older students, that means driving to and from high school each day.

Having that kind of independence is great when you are young but it also comes with some responsibility. Nearly one-third of all deaths of 15 to 20 year olds are the result of a motor vehicle crash and about 35 percent of those fatalities are alcohol related.

Texting while driving which is popular among teens and adults, makes a driver about six times more likely to cause an accident than driving while intoxicated. We are now adding drug impairment to vehicle crashes.

Northmor High School had a mock crash which is held every other year for the benefit of the student body to emphasize the need for responsible driving.

In May, local agencies participated in an exercise behind the high school with the student body watching the events unfold. Members of Northmor’s Youth Safety Council, led by Ellie Donohue and Trooper Kamal Nelson, played the roles of crash victims, along with the Grim Reaper, who visited the scene toward the end of the exercise.

“The weather that day was cold, windy, and rain. It made the accident more realistic as accidents do not always occur on sunny days,” Donohue said.

Senior Lindsey Wiseman played an impaired driver, who was drinking and taking pills at a party and left with one of her friends. She T-boned another vehicle with three bicyclists in front of her with one of the bicyclists, Jordan Wiseman, not surviving the crash.

Other students participating were Kolton Smith and Jake Neer riding the other bikes, Ken Piker in Lindsay Wiseman’s car, and Kennedy Leavens — Grim Reaper. In the second car was a mother and daughter, teacher — LaNeta Wertz, and student Cindy Pulley.

Participating in the exercise were the fire departments from Johnsville and Iberia along with the Morrow County Squads, Morrow County Sheriff’s Department and Post 59 of the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Snyder’s Funeral Home. Med-Flight could not participate because of the weather.

The students said they enjoyed participating in the mock crash, but in real life the obvious risks to health and safety posed by underage drinking and driving can have long-term implications. An early drunk driving conviction can have an effect on employment background checks as well as vehicle insurance coverage.

They are also reminded that there is a different set of legal standards when it comes to drunk drivers who are under 21 which is the zero-tolerance laws for underage DUI offenses.

Texting while driving has been a growing trend and national epidemic, quickly becoming one of the country’s top killers. Drivers assume they can handle texting while driving and remain safe.

“Mock crashes are more than exercises, they are scenes being played out somewhere in the United States. The start of a new school years is an ideal opportunity for parents and teens to discuss the serious subject of driving responsibly,” Donohue said.

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A mock crash was held at Northmor High School in May to make students aware of the dangers of impaired driving and texting behind the wheel.
http://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2017/08/web1_mockcrash.jpgA mock crash was held at Northmor High School in May to make students aware of the dangers of impaired driving and texting behind the wheel.

A mock crash was held at Northmor High School in May to make students aware of the dangers of impaired driving and texting behind the wheel.
http://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2017/08/web1_mockcrash2.jpgA mock crash was held at Northmor High School in May to make students aware of the dangers of impaired driving and texting behind the wheel.

Staff Report