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Somber reminder before graduation

Coinciding with the conclusion of a statewide distracted driving initiative and the approaching graduation season, Pequot Lakes students hosted a mock crash Monday, May 16, dramatizing a car crash involving a drunk driver, distracted driving and ...

During the Pequot Lakes Mock Crash, Pequot Lakes Fire Department and local paramedic crews put student Laura Squires in a neck brace during the May 16 mock crash at the high school. Photo by Travis Grimler
During the Pequot Lakes Mock Crash, Pequot Lakes Fire Department and local paramedic crews put student Laura Squires in a neck brace during the May 16 mock crash at the high school. Photo by Travis Grimler

Coinciding with the conclusion of a statewide distracted driving initiative and the approaching graduation season, Pequot Lakes students hosted a mock crash Monday, May 16, dramatizing a car crash involving a drunk driver, distracted driving and unrestrained passengers.

"This is a good time to show this to the students and let them see what's happening this time of year," said Pequot Lakes police chief Eric Klang. "We have a lot of graduations that are happening. We have other party events for the students and this is what happens when you drink and drive. It's not all about drinking and driving. It's also about distracted driving and people not paying attention to driving behind the wheel. You are driving a heavy car down the road and if you aren't paying attention, bad things can happen. This accident didn't turn out very well either."

The scene, in a Pequot Lakes High School parking lot, featured two cars and several victims, including at least one fatality. On scene were police, fire and ambulance crews.

"This is what happens at every one of the crashes that happens," Klang said. "This is the same scenario laid out. The police show up, the ambulance shows up, the fire department shows up. North ambulance shows up as well. This is exactly what happens out on the street when we go to these crashes."

The school's Students Against Distracted Decisions (SADD) group worked to organize the event with emergency crews since February.

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"This is important because I don't think students understand the importance of driving safely and not drinking and driving," said SADD member Macy Dotty. "I think students think they can do whatever they want and don't have to worry about getting hurt. It affects everyone. People don't understand the severity of car accidents and don't understand what can happen in even a small accident."

"I think people need to understand you can't just do what you want and not accept the consequences," said Mackenzie Rubitschung with SADD. "You have to be aware of everything that can happen. Big things can happen to the best of people."

SADD members were generally pleased with how seriously the crowd treated the mock crash.

Students also witnessed a presentation by members of the Minnesota State Patrol, as well as a film called "Gone Too Soon," which features interviews with parents of children lost to automobile crashes.

Related Topics: PEQUOT LAKES
Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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