Accident drill conveys painful reality

(10-30-2014)

Sirens blared through the streets, police cars, a fire truck and ambulance arrived, and a crowd of rubberneckers gathered around the scene of a car crash involving a drunk driver. There was blood, death, and handcuffs. But it was all a drill.

Adams State University freshman Ryan Milner, a sociology major with an emphasis in criminal justice, organized the drill as a serving learning project for a sociology course. His goal was to help his fellow students become more aware of the real dangers of not only alcohol use, but also texting and drug use while driving.

Milner recruited several friends - most of them, nursing majors - to portray the car's passengers. Over the last two weeks, he coordinated the exercise with area first responders: the Adams State Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, Alamosa Police, Alamosa Ambulance Service, and Alamosa Fire Department. Layton's Towing provided a wrecked car for realism.

Adams State Deputy Police Chief, Tresa Rupright, said, "Some reality scenarios are excellent for students to see. To see their friends, kids their age, lying on the street with blood all over, or a sibling distraught over her brother - that is all reality. The benefit of this is everyone gets up when its over. But the truth, as Alamosa Police Officer Pichon pointed out, is that over 10,000 people die each year in alcohol related accidents."

By Julie Waechter