The Times West Virginian


April 14, 2013

Planned mock DUI accidents teach students valuable lesson

Sometimes the hardest lessons in life come from experience and pain.

A simple “don’t touch the stove” to a curious child is almost an invitation. But on a second encounter “don’t touch the stove or you’ll get burned again” means much more because the child remembers the pain and the burn.

As parents and grandparents, we want our children to listen to our words and avoid any serious injury. And as parents and grandparents, we also understand that a willful child probably won’t.

But unlike little fingers that get burnt on a stove, which can heal with a little TLC and a bit of salve, there are some mistakes and accidents a child can’t recover from. There are choices our children make as they advance to the teenage years that can have lifelong consequences.

These are the kinds of bad choices with no second chances.

As the prom and graduation season approaches, we tell our children not to break the underage drinking laws. We tell them not to drink and drive. We tell them never to get into a car with someone who has been drinking alcohol or using drugs. We tell them to wear their seat belts. We tell them to make good decisions.

But in far too many cases, just one lapse in judgment, just one moment in time when all the lessons we’ve taught them escape them in a blur of peer pressure in the wee hours of the morning after too many drinks, could be the moment we lose a child to a fatal accident. It could be the moment we lose a child to the legal system. It could be the moment they lose their future and any chance of achieving the goals they’ve set for themselves.

That’s not a lesson to be learned. They never get a second chance to avoid the bad decisions they’ve made to see an alternate outcome.

We applaud Marion County Emergency Services’ recent mock DUI accident held at Fairmont Senior High School and two more scheduled for East Fairmont and North Marion high schools. The Fairmont Fire Department, the Marion County Rescue Squad and the Fairmont City Police Department participated in the re-enactment to show the students step by step what could happen if someone chooses to drink and operate a vehicle. While we hope our children never have to experience the consequences of drinking and driving firsthand, as FSHS driver’s education teacher Bob Costelac said, the simulation “is as close to reality as you could possibly get.”

The presentation showed the process from when an accident happens all the way to arresting someone for driving under the influence. Students were taken outside to a car that had been wrecked prior to the event, with three individuals in the accident. One FSHS student played the driver of the wrecked vehicle and another student played the passenger while a young boy played the driver’s little brother. In the re-enactment, the driver’s brother was killed in the accident and the passenger was seriously injured. The driver was taken for a field sobriety test and was arrested for drinking and driving.

Maddison Bowen, a junior at FSHS who played the driver in the re-enactment, said even though she knew it wasn’t real, it felt like she had just gotten in an accident.

“All the noises and what the people were saying, it was terrifying,” she said.

We hope that like Bowen, the upperclassmen who witness the accident simulation take something away. We hope that when choices are being made, the visual memory of the crashed car, the child being cut from the vehicle by emergency workers, the lights and sirens of the police car all come to mind. And we hope that makes decisions a little easier during prom and graduation season and long after.

Text Only
  • Prevention must remain focus when dealing with cruel black lung disease

    “Preventable, but not curable.”
    That’s how Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for Mine Safety and Health, describes black lung disease.
    He could also use the word “deadly.”
    According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, black lung has killed more than 76,000 miners since 1968.

    August 1, 2014

  • If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is

    Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
    This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.

    July 31, 2014

  • State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core

    It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
    So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
    Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.

    July 30, 2014

  • Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.

    July 29, 2014

  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads