*Warning: The pictures below depict a mock traffic accident and may be disturbing to some members of our audience.
On the morning of Wednesday, April 30th, Highland Park High School was the site of a mock pedestrian accident, courtesy of the school’s SADD chapter and numerous local service agencies.
Freshmen, sophomores and juniors were all in attendance to witness the aftermath of the “accident.” The outdoor scenario was narrated so they would understand how such a tragedy might occur.
The back story begins with a pair of teenagers crossing the street, talking and engaging in horseplay. Nearby, a driver is sending a text message and chatting with a passenger in their vehicle. The situation becomes calamitous when the driver fails to see the teens as they cross the street in front of the vehicle. The ensuing chaos marks the beginning of the skit for the students as they watch the aftermath of the accident that “killed” one of the teens and “severely injured” the other.
The Highland Park students witnessed first responders, paramedics, law enforcement officers and an accident reconstruction team as they worked together at the scene of the accident. Dawn Deeds-Rookstool, SADD advisor at HPHS, said the club, with the help of Ofc. Larry Gonzales, had been working toward this day all year in the hopes of raising awareness of the importance of pedestrian safety.
Many individuals and agencies joined together to make this event possible, including Ofc. Larry Gonzales of the Topeka Police Dept. SRO Unit, the HPHS SADD chapter, HPHS theatre students, Topeka Fire, AMR, First Call, Topeka Metro, Safe Kids of Topeka, Kansas Traffic Safety Assn., Kitch Towing, Shawnee County Emergency Communications Center, the City of Topeka, Rev. T.D. Hicks, Minister Andre Burnette, and Pastor John Williams.