James Clemens mock crash gives students practice, warns about distracted driving

MADISON, Ala. -- Science and art converged Tuesday morning at James Clemens High School to teach more than science and art. Students participated in a mock car accident to demonstrate the dangers of distracted driving on prom night and give health science students some realistic practice.

Warning: Special effects makeup was used to make the scenario *appear* to be very graphic.

The James Clemens health science interns and advanced theatre class teamed up for a mock emergency scenario. It's prom night, and there was a car accident. A lot of people are hurt. The theater students portrayed injured and bloodied students, still wearing their formal gowns and suits from the ‘prom.’ The actors applied fake blood and scar makeup.

The health science interns acted as the first responders to the two-car wreck.

"One person was on their phone texting and driving, the other was under the influence of narcotics," explained Isabelle Black, a JC health science intern.

Each injury was pre-planned by the teacher, but the students had to assess each injury on the spot. If a victim was determined to be dead, the faux first responders moved on.

"This is something that they look forward to doing like a real-life simulation, so they can better hone in on those critical thinking skills," said health science teacher Ashley Steinert.

The simulation included acting bystanders, some very distraught, to teach the students how to handle distraction on the scene.

Madison first responders observed the students. They took notes and gave advice. And to make the scenario extra re, Med Flight even landed in front of the school.

"It's really real," Black said. "Stay calm in the situation, it's very hard when everybody's here, ambulances, fire trucks, med flight, people are watching you and surrounding you."

"This allows the students to be able to think through these processes and gain experience without actually being out in the field when people's lives are truly at risk," Steinert said.

In the end, fake blood and all, the students can share with others how to make sure this nightmare doesn't become a reality.