A sobering experience

Thursday, April 11, 2002

It was a sobering lesson for high school students yesterday morning.

They were witnesses to a two-vehicle accident involving a drunkdriver.

Dubbed "Operation Prom," the simulation held at Storm Lake High School vividly displayed the results and consequences of drinking and driving. Students from Storm Lake and St. Mary's high schools were present.

First, the accident. It was a recreation of an alcohol-related car accident involving four high school students on Prom night. The driver, who had been drinking, swerved and collided head-on with a vehicle occupied with a mother and her child.

One of the students was thrown onto the hood of the car - she was dead before police officers even arrived. The student driver responsible for the accident was arrested.

Emergency crews responded. Paramedics worked to maintain the life of the young child, while firefighters worked to free two students still in the backseat of their car.

The injured are whisked away by ambulance. Finally the funeral home arrives to transport the dead high school girl.

Following the accident scene, students entered the gym. County Attorney Phil Havens described the legal fate of the high school student charged. Then students watched a simulated scene from the emergency room, where doctors and nurses tried to save the life of the young child injured in the accident.

Operation Prom is designed to show students the potential danger of choosing to drink and drive. The Storm Lake High School Prom is Saturday. St. Mary's is later this month.

Participants included Rev. Duane Queen, John Armstrong, Steve Scarbrough, Dr. Bethany Larson, Mike Hanna, Kurt Hanna, Denise Haisch, Alex Nyren, Phil Havens, Karen Sennert, Katie Johnson and Dr. Paul Barber.

Assisting in the event included Buena Vista Regional Medical Center, Storm Lake Ambulance Service, Cross Auto & Towing, KAYL, Fratzke-Jensen Funeral Home, Hoffman's Flower & Candle Shop, Storm Lake Public Safety, Community Education and Storm Lake High School custodians and staff.

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