A Crash Course on Consequences


Paige Laurie

A devastating “car crash” captures students attention as first responders attempt to pull a “lifeless” Caleb Allen (9) from the wreck. Allen and his older brother participated in this demonstration to educate classmates on how bad distracted driving can be.

Paige and Parker Laurie, Junior Reporters

Driving Smart is always a good choice, but what could the consequences of bad driving really be? Student Council answered that question during their DriveSmart week.

Kicking off with a carnival on November 16, crash dummies, VR aids, and drunk goggles gave students a taste of what bad driving can be like. Sadly, the carnival didn’t go off without a hitch. “The day before the carnival a whole bunch of people canceled on us,” Caden Salladay (10) said. Salladay is part of Manitou’s Student Council and chaired the event the Friday before Thanksgiving. He was also one of the crash dummies walking around the gym. While it didn’t go as well as hoped, students were still shown the purpose of DriveSmart.

Drive Smart Colorado’s mission is to reduce the number of traffic crashes through community collaboration and education. Hopefully, this message reached the students of Manitou.

The carnival wasn’t the only event Student Council had planned, though. To drive the point home, a live-action re-enactment of distracted driving took place on Monday. A message boomed over the loudspeakers, directing students to the east corner of the parking and what they found wasn’t as pleasant as Salladay in a crash dummy suit. “It was wild,” said Devon Beckum (10).

A fake car crash was staged with some familiar faces falling victim to distracted driving. “I didn’t really think it would feel that real but when it was happening it actually felt really real and then my mom started screaming and it actually really scared me,” Joey Allen (11)– one of the actors for the simulation– spoke of the accident.

Allen was the driver of the car that T-boned another due to his distracted driving. His brother, Caleb Allen (9), was in the passenger seat of the car and was the only “casualty” of the accident. Tiffany Allen– who works at the middle school– also made a guest appearance, playing the part of grieving mother frighteningly well. “I was talking with some of my friends and they said they got pretty scared when my mom came up and started screaming. They thought it was actually real,” Allen said.

Student Council continued to go all out with first responders ripping the cars apart, the police arresting Allen, and a helicopter flying in to get the victims medical attention. “They had [the car crash] done so well and then they had the helicopter come in and everything. It felt really weird because it felt so real,” Beckum said, after witnessing the emotionally wrecking accident.

If there’s one thing to learn from these events, it’s never to drive distracted and always drive responsibly or be prepared to answer to the consequences. “The car crash [was the most impactful to me] because I have a younger brother and I’m driving him around so it kinda hits home for me,” Salladay said.

Bringing attention to this matter that plagues our society was definitely accomplished with many students saying they will think before they act and DriveSmart. “I definitely think I will drive a lot smarter,” said Allen.