The grandstands were packed with students and faculty at Logan High School’s Crimson Field Friday afternoon, only they weren’t there to watch a football game or a track and field competition. Instead, multiple agencies came together to re-enact a fatal accident scene on the 50 yard line, illustrating the dangers of drinking and driving and distracted driving.”This was a great event today,” Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen said. “It came off just as we expected.” Logan Fire, Logan Police, Utah Highway Patrol and AirMed came together with Logan High officials to simulate the accident scene involving two smashed-up vehicles. With the high school studentbody looking on in the stands, emergency crews responded to the scene just as they would an actual accident.At the accident scene one high schooler was dead, another had severe trauma and was airlifted by AirMed, another was transported by ambulance with minor injuries and another was arrested.”I just think it is a good event and if we can impact a few of these young kids’ minds then I think we’re in good shape,” Jensen said.The simulation was the brainchild of Logan High resource officer Mike Russell. After the scene played out, school officials, emergency officials and Logan Mayor Randy Watts addressed the studentbody, repeatedly stressing the importance of avoiding distractions while driving, including texting and talking on cell phones.”Coming up here quickly, is your graduation,” Mayor Watts said. “You have a dance coming up. No matter what I do, or what the officers do, it all comes back to you and the choices you make day-to-day. “As you watch what played out in front of you, place yourself, your brother, your sister, your father, your mother, aunt or uncle, and how bad you’d feel. But then again how bad you would feel if you were the cause of such a serious situation that you never, never live down.” Logan City Police Lt. Rod Peterson also encouraged the group to think of the long-term consequences of their actions.”The message is clear,” Peterson said, “driving after you’ve been drinking or allowing yourself to become distracted can have deadly consequences. It doesn’t just impact you, it can impact your entire family.”Peterson also discussed a public awareness campaign the department has created, called the Main Distraction. He encouraged the students to place a Main Distraction sticker on their own vehicles to encourage people to pay attention to their own driving habits.”We have a lot of accidents on Logan’s Main Street,” Peterson continued. “In 2009 we had 582 accidents on Logan’s Main Street. Four hundred of those were caused because somebody took their eyes off the road ahead and crashed.”While the police department does all it can, Peterson explained, it can not do everything on its own. He said it will take the efforts of everyone to make Logan a safer place.”As you well know,” Jensen said, “distracted driving is, if not more dangerous, at least as dangerous as those who drink and drive.””We do have a great community” Jensen continued. “But we do have a problem. We have a lot of accidents that occur. But they’re preventable.”
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