Mock DisasterHOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (4/14/18) — April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. To help students remain familiar with the dangers of texting and driving, area first responders teamed up with them at Hopkins County Career and Technical Center during a mock disaster drill.

Health Sciences Director Kim Woodall, Principal Pam Todd and school administration along with PHI Air Medical staff out of Powderly, Kentucky State Police and Madisonville Fire Department coordinated activities at the Tech Center Friday.

“The students got to decide if they wanted to be one of the crash victims, and we picked one from each school in a random drawing,” Woodall said. “This is to bring more awareness to driving distracted, whether it is texting or anything that takes your attention away from the road.”

Carrington Pendley played one of the crash victims, while Cason Osborne depicted a second crash patient during the mock disaster drill.

RN Holly Shoulders, who is employed as a flight nurse aboard PHI Air Medical, said she has been working with Hopkins County HOSA for the past three years.

“The kids really enjoy it and I think it’s worth it,” Shoulders said. “The medical team almost got called out to a flight before the drill, but it got canceled. I’m glad the weather held out for today’s drill.”

She praised the students, noting their participation was very realistic.

Mock Disaster 2

KSP Post 2 Trooper Rob Austin spoke to students about distracted driving after the disaster drill, saying he doesn’t want kids to end up in crashes in real life. Troopers hear lots of excuses for accidents, ranging from a dog ran out in front of them to spilt coffee.

“In fact, there’s a case where a gentleman said he spilled some coffee, and he ended up killing a couple of people in a semi — wrecked into another vehicle — and we were able to pull text messaging records,” the trooper said. “He’s going to prison, because he was texting and driving and murdered two people. It’s a serious thing.”

He also pointed out wearing a seat belt greatly increases survival rate in a crash. Distracted driving endangers other drivers, passengers and pedestrians, he said. Troopers will be targeting distracted drivers this month during the KSP campaign in addition to issuing citations for seat belt law violations.

Although it is not against the law to talk on the phone, to passengers, grooming, eating food or drinking beverages, it still takes the driver’s attention away from the road, Austin explained, and troopers can still hold drivers responsible for reckless or careless driving along the highways.

SurfKY News


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