LESSONS LEARNED OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
BONNERS FERRY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
*Editor’s note: The following article contains valuable information
with graphic descriptions and photos.
Many hours of planning went into a scenario to provide a realistic car crash caused by one driver of a vehicle texting and the other driver being drunk while driving. The scenario was staged for the students of Bonners Ferry High School in the morning of Thursday, May 4th in the parking lot of the Bonners Ferry Middle School.
Staging began in the early morning with Panhandle Towing bringing in two totaled vehicles and set them up in the parking lot as a head-on collision. Meanwhile, the eight students that would be participating as victims, the DUI driver and texter met with Sarah Symes at 6:30 am in the band room of the middle school to get “made up” with theatrical blood, glass adhered to faces and a lost arm for one victim. The victims’ wounds were quite authentic looking to add to the realism of the scenario.
These students had been sworn to secrecy as to their participation in the scenario, and they stayed at the Kootenai River Inn the night before the presentation, with no cell phones, computers and could not use landline phones. They were monitored to insure that the presentation would not be compromised.
Shortly after 8:00 am, public service announcements were sent out via www.nixle.com, www.redoubtnews.com and social media that a mock training exercise was going to be conducted at the middle school parking lot involving fire, ambulance, law enforcement and a helicopter. Signs were also placed on Highway 95 on both ends of the school to make motorists aware of an emergency vehicle training exercise.
By 8:30 am, all apparatus and personnel were staged at the armory across the street from the middle school. Shortly after 9:00, the student actors were moved from the band room to the vehicle wreckage and placed in their various assigned positions.
In vehicle #1, the distracted driver (texting) was played by Shelby Sporl. The deceased victim, David Cossairt, was placed on the hood on the vehicle as if he had been catapulted through the front windshield, and was lying face down.
Sophia Claphan was poised as a seriously injured passenger with head injuries from shards of glass imbedded in her forehead and cheeks. Brooke Wallace was one of the “walking wounded” staged in the first vehicle. In the second crashed vehicle, the DUI driver was played by Mason McGinnis, who also sustained a minor head injury. Alex Urbaniak had a severed arm and the appendage was placed on the outside of the vehicle on the ground. The other two passengers, Karla Horton and Connor Krezman, were walking wounded.
At 9:15, the high school students were directed to exit the high school and to make their way to the soccer field. The graduating seniors were allowed onto the parking lot and advised to stay behind the orange cones. The rest of the students stayed behind the fence to watch the scenario unfold.
Kevin Dinning, the Bonners Ferry High School principal, explained to the student body that this was a mock scenario involving students that were victims of drunk driving and texting. The students were advised that counselors and a chaplain were at the location if a student felt the need to talk to one.
At 9:30, a mock 9-1-1 call went out over the intercom which had been placed in the parking lot in front of the fencing so that all students would be able to hear. Bonners Ferry Fire channel 3 was used to coordinate the dispatch of equipment from the armory. A few minutes past 9:30, a Bonners Ferry PD unit arrived on scene, and Police Chief Victor Watson ran up to the vehicles and BF PD Officer Mike Martinez arrived immediately after Watson.It was determined that there were injured students in the vehicles and emergency equipment was called for.
Sheriff Dave Kramer arrived on scene just before Bonners Ferry Fire Engine 1 and Boundary Ambulance Medic 1 arrived via Tamarack St. Boundary Ambulance Medic 2 also arrived on scene. It was determined by the emergency personnel that extrication equipment would be needed to remove the injured from the vehicles and Rescue 1 was dispatched to the scene along with the Idaho State Police.
After determining that there was a student with life threatening injuries, the Life Flight helicopter was called for. The first patient was extricated from vehicle 1 and loaded onto the Medic 1 gurney and taken to the waiting ambulance.
BFPD Officer Martinez had the driver from vehicle 2 step out of the car and he began a sobriety test. While this was occurring, another patient was extricated from vehicle 2 and loaded onto a gurney for ambulance transport to the hospital. The coroner was called to transport the deceased victim.
Life Flight landed and the student with the severed arm was transported by gurney to the awaiting helicopter after fire personnel had removed the car door via extrication equipment. The driver of vehicle 2 was arrested and placed in custody and put into Officer Martinez’ vehicle.
The deceased victim in vehicle 1 was removed from the hood of the vehicle and loaded into the waiting hearse. The Life Flight helicopter took off with their severely injured patient on board, and the hearse left with the deceased victim, whereupon the scenario ended.
Principal Dinning did a wrap up of the scenario and advised the students to report to the auditorium at 10:45 am for a presentation. He again reiterated that counselors and teachers were available to any students who would like to speak with one. It was a quiet and somber group of students that made their way from the soccer field back to the high school.
But this is not the end of the story; stay tuned for Part 2.
Enjoy the slideshow of Photos. Graphic Warning.
All photos copyright 2017 Donna Capurso, Redoubt News