Ottumwa High School holds wreck simulation event to teach students responsible driving habits

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 6:46 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - On Wednesday, September 15th the Ottumwa High school and several other organizations in the community held a wreck simulation event for students on Center Avenue.

The sounds of sirens and a car crash, the sight of fake blood, plus a mock funeral were all intended for upperclassmen to show students the consequences when it comes to impaired or distracted driving.

Wapello County Sheriff, Don Phillips, says it all started when an Ottumwa High School mother reached out to him about the idea six months ago.

“She had an idea that she presented to me and I thought it was a great idea. We started back in April of this year and started planning and it all became a reality today,” he says.

Sadie Monaghan, the mother that started it all, says her reason for this was to show tomorrow’s adults the weight of their everyday decisions. “The consequences that come with something that seems simple as I’m just going to check my phone real quick, I’m just going to send this text really quickly, there’s more than that. It’s on a bigger scale and they need to understand that,” Monaghan shared.

Several students shared they definitely received that message. “Don’t drink and drive,” says Quintin Hull.

Roberto Ponce, also a student, says the event was “shocking.”

“I just thought it was unreal. I never thought this could occur. I just didn’t know how it was going to happen but it did, everyone was in shock, the world is watching, how did this happen,” says Ponce.

Vada Monaghan, a student helping behind the scenes, says even though she knew it was all fake it still upset her.

“To see my teammate and my friends just gone very quickly and not knowing what was going on and her mom talking is what really got to my head,” she says.

Southern Iowa Mental Health and counselors were available after the simulation for any student wanting to talk about what they witnessed.

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