Last week I covered a Shattered Dreams event at one of the local high schools. Shattered Dreams is a two day program designed to educate students about the danger of drinking and driving. A mock accident is set up that is modeled after a real accident situation that occurred in this area. The students are set into the staged accident scene and are treated, transported and dealt with by local firefighters, police and other emergency personnel.
As a journalist who actually covers awful car accidents regularly in this area, I was a little disturbed by the experience because it was so easy to imagine it being real. I could see myself covering this very accident, listening to these kids crying and watching the hurt ones flown off. It was not hard for me to imagine at all, especially after the fatal accidents I’ve covered here. On the other hand, I’m not sure how much it actually touched our local students. I could see some of them definitely didn’t seem to care, they were texting and playing games and talking.
Much like when we print accident photos and we hope that the image helps someone to buckle up, or pull over when they’re tired or put down their phone, I hope that this helps someone think twice too. It was definitely intense enough to make a lasting impression.