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Freshmen and sophomores learn how to protect themselves during Mock Crash event

Scott+Reutter%2C+a+sergeant+with+Arizona+Highway+Patrol%2C+spoke+to+South+Mountain+High+School+freshmen+and+sophomores+about+protecting+themselves+when+they%27re+in+motor+vehicles.
Scott Reutter, a sergeant with Arizona Highway Patrol, spoke to South Mountain High School freshmen and sophomores about protecting themselves when they're in motor vehicles.

Scott Reutter, a sergeant with Arizona Highway Patrol, spoke to South Mountain High School freshmen and sophomores about protecting themselves when they're in motor vehicles.

Photo by Mia Robles

Photo by Mia Robles

Scott Reutter, a sergeant with Arizona Highway Patrol, spoke to South Mountain High School freshmen and sophomores about protecting themselves when they're in motor vehicles.

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South Mountain High School held two mock car crash events, one of which was devoted to the freshmen and sophomore classes, and the other to juniors and seniors. 

Matt Lersch, Assistant Principal of Instruction, explained why South held the events.

“Phoenix Fire Department approached us and asked when it would be a good time to do this,” he said. “We felt like this was beneficial information and wanted to provide it.”

The powerpoint for the freshmen/sophomore event, which was held in the auditorium, featured graphic images of car crashes and victims, videos of car accidents, and clips from movies like the Fast and Furious franchise.

Scott Reutter, a sergeant with Arizona Highway Patrol, presented the powerpoint. He began the presentation with the story of Paul Walker, a celebrity who died in 2013 after racing in a car with a friend. “See You Again,” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth – a song that was dedicated to Walker after his death – played while images of Walker were shown and the audience sang along.

“We are recognizing today that this is a movie and this is … reality,” Reutter said.

Reutter continued by listing the reasons that crashes happen in order of how often they occur: speed, distracted driving, driving under the influence, inexperienced driving, and unsafe lane changes. He then identified the six actions you can take to protect yourself: using your seat belt, not getting into a vehicle with someone you don’t trust with your life, not driving fast, not driving while drunk, not driving while under the influence of drugs, and driving smart without your smartphone.

Reutter called two students up on the stage to demonstrate the roadside tests Highway Patrol uses while dealing with intoxicated drivers. The volunteers had to wear goggles that obscured their vision, hold a foot in the air for six seconds, and walk across an imaginary straight line for nine steps.

“We don’t enjoy arresting impaired drivers and then cleaning up messes on the roadways and seeing the death and destruction that they caused,” he said. “So we’re trying to get out in front of it and educate people.”

It’ll help others to know … what you’re not supposed to do while driving,” freshman Yanira Quintero said. “Because that could lead to death.” 

 

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Freshmen and sophomores learn how to protect themselves during Mock Crash event