Columbus, OH — The multi-vehicle fatal car crash scene outside of West Geauga High School on Tuesday, May 10, was thankfully just a mock disaster, but on prom night, this could be a reality. To raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving, speeding and distracted driving, the school's leadership collaborated with UH Geauga Medical Center, firefighters, police, EMT and Grange Insurance to organize a mock accident that had the look and feel of a real-life tragedy.
Students witnessed police arriving at the scene with lights flashing and sirens blaring following the multi-vehicle fatal crash involving seven students on their way to prom. Four of the students had been drinking, including a driver. EMTs covered the deceased student with a tarp and placed the body into a hearse. Those clinging to life received medical attention in the back of an ambulance. The impaired driver who caused the accident was arrested and placed in a squad car. The event's organizers narrated the entire scene to make it seem as authentic as possible for the student audience.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), motor vehicle accidents remain the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.
"This powerful event shows students what could happen if they choose to drive recklessly. It's a scary reminder that even the happiest of times can quickly turn into a tragedy when a person chooses to drive irresponsibly," said Chester Township Fire Chief William Shaw. "Making this event realistic hits home for the students causing many to have visceral feelings from seeing their classmates and friends in totaled vehicles. It's impactful and has traction with teenagers."
“We want all of the students in our area to have a great prom night,” said Jason Glowczewski, PharmD, MBA, FASHP, Chief Operating Officer, UH Geauga, Geneva and Conneaut Medical Centers. “By staying safe and learning about the potential hazards of drinking and driving, their prom experience will be far better than if they were to end up in our emergency room after an accident.”
Grange donated the salvaged vehicles. The company's SVP, Claims Scott Hauptman, commented on the importance of safe driving for teens. "This mock accident empowers teenagers to make informed, safe choices by shedding light on the dangers of risk-taking behaviors like drinking and driving, speeding and texting behind the wheel, and their life-altering consequences and the importance of personal responsibility."
Hauptman encourages parents to talk to their teen driver about safe driving. "Encourage open lines of communication, listen to your child, have a plan on what to do if a situation becomes dangerous and set rules. Don’t just set the rules, set the example."
About Grange Insurance
Grange Insurance Company, with $3.3 billion in assets and more than $1.4 billion in annual revenue, is an insurance provider founded in 1935 and based in Columbus, Ohio. Through its network of independent agents, Grange offers auto, home, life and business insurance protection. Life insurance offered by Grange Life Insurance and Kansas City Life Insurance. Grange Insurance Company and its affiliates serve policyholders in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. Learn more about Grange Insurance.