Deadly serious

EL-GHS students combat distracted driving with mock crash

Photos byLes Tension Photos byLes Tension Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah High School FCCLA officers Megan Waage, Sarah Niemi, Madeline Buechel, Morgan Vollbrecht, Parker Vollbrecht, Sarah Schneider, Kyle Lutzke and Anders Waage, along with EL-GHS students Lauren Schmitt, Nick Niemi, Saylor Schoenborn and Bryce Sitko, created a mock crash situation to educate their peers on the short and long-term consequences of distracted driving and texting while driving Thursday, April 26.

Nine people in the U.S. are killed each day as a result of crashes involving a distracted driver, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Distracted driving has become an American epidemic, especially among teenagers, but is completely preventable.

The mock crash involved community resources of the Elkhart Lake and Glenbeulah Fire Departments, the Elkhart Lake First Responders, the Kiel Fire Department Ambulance, Orange Cross Ambulance, Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department, Flight For Life, Sheboygan County Dispatch, Suchon Funeral Home, parents of the students, Mrs. Holly Green, and the Elkhart Lake Police Department. Rhine Auto provided and transported the vehicles used in the crash.

After the mock crash, the students spoke about their experiences of being involved in the mock crash and the emotions they felt throughout the simulation.

Sarah Schneider, one of the participants, stated, “When Mrs. Roehl and Officer Niemi first told the FCCLA officers they wanted to organize a mock crash, I think we were all pretty excited. They had firefighters, Cody Schmitt and Andy Martin, and the Orange Cross come in and we started to talk about what this would involve. But the closer it came to the actual day, the more nervous I became. Putting on all the makeup and fake blood, and then actually being the one carried away on a stretcher to the helicopter made me realize just how much I never want to experience any of it for real. Please put your phone down so none of us have to experience this in real life.”

Dr. Suzanne Martens, EMS director for the state of Wisconsin, spoke to the students about how difficult it is for emergency personnel to fix the results of an accident, particularly head injuries. She reminded students to slow down and pay attention to the road. The experience ended with a presentation by Lei Lund, a teacher at ELGHS, who shared her personal story about the loss of her son, Cameron Agnew, from a distracted driving accident.

A video link will be posted at by June 1 to view the crash.

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