A mock reminder: Be smart, safe

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Isaac Blum played the "seriously injured" victim in River Ridge's mock crash last Thursday, April 19.

Deputy Dan Reuter hollers at James Breuer, aka the drunken driver in the mock crash, to blow as hard as he can during a "breathalyzer test," done in front of his classmates to show what happens when a driver is suspected to have been drinking. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Funeral director Nathan Popp rolls the "deceased victim" in front of the student body, as he explains what his role is at a scene where someone is pronounced dead.

Key participants in the mock crash included (from left) makeup artist Jordan Mink, Deputy Dan Reuter, Kerrigan Trautsch, Denny Cathman, Isaac Blum and James Breuer.

By Correne Martin

There’s screeching, a loud boom, the cracking and popping of glass breaking and metal bending. You’re screaming and crying and feeling your body being jerked around. There’s the smell of coolant and other chemicals. 

Then...silence...

This experience is a nightmare of a lifetime. It’s not only the sounds that will remain with you, when you’re involved in a severe crash. But, in a drunken driving crash that ends in injuries, even death, the memories and consequences—if you live—will haunt you forever. 

West Grant EMS member Denny Cathman shared the above depiction with River Ridge High School students April 19, during a mock accident in the school’s parking lot. Bloomington Fire, Bill’s Towing and Martin Schwartz Funeral Home, both of Bloomington, as well as the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, joined the EMS personnel who volunteered their time to demonstrate what happens in a drunken driving crash, involving injuries and a fatality. The event is held regularly in advance of prom, which, for River Ridge, was April 21.

The pretend “crash” occurred on “prom night” at 12:30 a.m., at the intersection of Highway 18 and Clark Road near Mt. Hope. Three teens were involved. The drunken driver, aka James Breuer, was arrested. The other driver, played by Isaac Blum, was taken by ambulance for serious injuries, and his passenger, depicted by Kerrigan Trautsch, was pronounced deceased at the scene. 

“Honestly, it was very scary, because my dad and mom have witnessed crashes and talked about them and were really scared about them,” Trautsch said after her experience. “This made me realize this does happen and it is real.”

Her fellow actors spoke about being smart and safe on prom night, and any time they get behind the wheel. 

Blum added, "Just say no to drinking and driving."

The entire high school student body watched the mock crash. Vehicles were provided by Bill’s Towing and the rest of the emergency personnel helping volunteered their time to make this happen for the school.

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