Owensboro Health shared this video of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Highway Safety “Ghost Out” event at Owensboro Catholic High School with Owensboro Living this morning.
Owensboro Fire Department, Owensboro Police Department, Yellow Ambulance, and Air Evac of Breckenridge County assisted with the re-enactment scenario which portrayed the consequences of a drunk driving accident to the student body.
“As part of the event, a mock drunk-driving car crash is set up at high schools throughout the state. Owensboro Health participated in the Ghost Out at McLean County High School on April 20 and Owensboro Catholic High School on April 27. These events showed students a glimpse of the heartbreak that results from drunk-driving crashes,” said Somer Wilhite, Marketing Specialist at Owensboro Health.
During the Ghost Out, students are picked at random to be the “victims” and “impaired drivers” of the crashes and are then taken through the process as they go from the crash scene at their high school to a local hospital, where a victim of the crash dies from their injuries. Students also visit local law enforcement headquarters and a courtroom, seeing the entirety of the process in an abbreviated fashion. One individual travels with the students dressed as the Grim Reaper in order to emphasize that drinking and driving is a potentially fatal mistake.
“Parents would much rather have the call to ‘come get me’ rather than get a knock on the door or a phone call where I’m on the other end saying ‘your son or daughter is not coming home tonight.’ ” – Sgt. Adam Johnston, OPD.
“In addition to students playing roles in the dramatization, each of the students participating must write goodbye letters to their families about how they died in a drunk driving crash. Parents of the ones involved in the crash also write their children’s obituaries,” Wilhite added.
“We do this because it’s not ‘real’ to young people who have never been around it before. We try to make it real to them and show them the process of what happens when they get here (in the trauma bay),” said Dr. Tony Decker, MD. “We want them to see that there are consequences to their actions and this is our way of trying to make it real for them.”
“We hope to make an impact on at least one person who will make the decision not to drink and drive or not to drive impaired,” said Donnell Gordon, Community Outreach Injury Prevention at Owensboro Health. “We normally do this a few days before prom and that gives the students an opportunity to go back and share their experience and say ‘this is what I went through.’ ”
“If they get one thing out of this entire procedure it’s that the vast majority of trauma is preventable if you make intelligent decisions. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t text and drive. Wear your seatbelt. Those three things alone will reduce your chances of ever having a crash or if you do have a crash, surviving a crash,” Dr. Decker added.