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Arrive Alive Creates Awareness of the Impact of Unsafe Driving

Crash simulation also serves as a training exercise for area agencies

Arrive Alive is a two-day program that challenges teens to think about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving. A simulated crash, involving pre-selected students, was staged on the school’s football stadium and viewed by Centennial High School juniors and seniors.

On April 17, day one of the event, a 9-1-1 call triggers an emergency response by law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, and a medical helicopter. Each agency uses the drill as a training exercise to simulate real-life responses.

In the simulation, paramedics treat several students for minor injuries following a head-on collision caused by a driver who was impaired and distracted by cell phone use. A seriously injured student receives medical aid and is removed from the scene by an ambulance and taken to Unity Hospital where he is treated and determined to be paralyzed. The family of that student is present and notified by the doctor of their child’s life-altering injuries. A second student dies on scene after being thrown through a windshield and is pronounced dead and taken to the mortuary by Mueller-Bies Funeral Home. A third student is arrested for impaired driving and criminal vehicular homicide and taken to jail.

Juniors and seniors gather for day two of the simulation on April 18, and the event includes a mock funeral assembly for the student who was killed and includes the reading of letters written to family by other involved students as if they had died. Video footage from other parts of the simulated event is shown and students hear from a speaker on the impact of such an event. Speakers included a representative from the Anoka County Attorney's Office, Blaine Police Chief Brian Podany, Principal Tom Breuning, and impact speaker Karin Ilg.

The program is designed to create awareness among students that they are not invincible. They experience first-hand how their actions and decisions affect the lives of many other people. It also helps open emotional doors and addresses problems most teens don’t know would exist when poor decisions are made.