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School Demonstrates Crash for Prevention of Distracted Driving

Jenna Elahmad

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Last Month, Klein High School in conjunction with the company Shattered Dreams, demonstrated a car crash in an effort to bring awareness to distracted driving. The seniors were called out to the front parking lot and watched emergency response teams react to the crash. Members of Student Council acted as the drivers and passengers to bring it closer to the hearts of the student body.

“When I played the drunk driver, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” senior Jessica Shank said. “Especially being the last person everyone would expect to commit a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), I think it made others put themselves in my shoes even if they think they would never do that sort of thing.”

Throughout the day, a heartbeat would be heard over the intercom every 12 minutes to symbolize the loss of another teen in a distracted driving incident. At this 12 minute mark, a grim reaper would appear and pull a student out of class. That student would now be “dead.”

“When you unexpectedly lose someone close to you, it makes you recognize how important it is to tell the people you care about that you love them,” junior Tatum Oberly said.

At lunch, obituaries were posted near the cafeteria and “ghosts” could be seen holding pictures of their former selves. The next day an assembly was held in the auditorium to exhibit the impact of this experience in the lives of with a video depicting the time before and after the accident.

Approximately two months after the production, most students took precautions when it came to driving safely.

“I’ve definitely been a safer driver, I used to occasionally reply to texts while driving, but since then I’ve completely stopped,” senior Ashlee Farmer said. “If I’m driving then everyone in the car is wearing a seatbelt.”

After they watched their peers perform the realistic scene, the seniors were called into the auditorium the following day, where they were able to listen to the stories of people with experience on the matter, some hitting close to home.

“I hope that Kailee’s story shows people of every age that not wearing your seatbelt is a real problem with real consequences,” said David Mills, father of 16-year-old Kailee Mills, a Klein Collins student who passed away in October 2017. “Wearing your seatbelt seems so small, but it’s so important because if you don’t use it, the rest of the safety features in your car don’t work to their full ability and that puts you at a higher risk of injury.”

Like Mr. Mills, Eric Stephens also talked about the impact the loss of his daughter had on him on Friday and told how it motivated him to speak out to the current generation of driver’s on the road.

“I was able to talk to the drunk driver that caused the accident that killed my daughter when I read my impact statement and I said that I forgave him. I forgave him because he made a bad decision. If I continued to hold bitterness toward him, I wouldn’t better myself, and I wouldn’t be able to come out here and speak to you guys,” Stephens said.  

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School Demonstrates Crash for Prevention of Distracted Driving