Fake car crash manages to leave Mount Si students stunned
May 23, 2012
By Sebastian Moraga
Chace Carlson had everything.
A bright future and big dreams of becoming an Air Force pilot. A great run as a Mount Si High School soccer player. A fine reputation as a student rep on the school board.
Now he was dead.
Carlson “died” in a mock car crash behind Mount Si High School May 17, when students and law enforcement officers showed in detail what may happen when teenagers drink and drive.
“It was a great experience for a great cause,” Carlson wrote in an email. Being “dead” required him to wear more than a half-gallon of fake blood.
“I really didn’t get to see much of the mock crash myself, since I was dead on impact,” he wrote. “My eyes were closed from the moment they lifted the tarp off to unveil us, until they covered me with a sheet to show I was dead.”
The mock crash reminded students of the consequences of their choices, with prom and graduation days away.
“It teaches them how it’s not about you,” said Megan McCulley, a Mount Si student who helped organize the mock crash. “It’s about your family, your friends. It affects everyone around you.”
Along with the mock crash and funeral, seniors received letters from fifth-graders encouraging them to make good choices on prom night.
During the mock crash, seven agencies participated, including the Washington State Patrol, Snoqualmie police and fire, and the King County Sheriff’s Office.
Students saw their peers play dead, injured or next-of-kin, some wearing gory makeup, while the lights atop police cars and fire trucks painted the gray skies with a tragic red hue.
Bruises, skid marks, screams. Blood, tears and the prospect of years in jail, all managed to enrapt teenagers in sepulchral silence, while Snoqualmie Fire Department Lieutenant Kelly Gall narrated.
“Imagine how her mom feels now,” he said, while paramedics carried a student away.”She has lost her only daughter.”
Students lined the fences on the west end of the school’s football field. They knew it was all fake, yet kept looking.
“I almost started crying, it was too real,” junior Danielle Reynolds said.
Her classmate Mary Ferner stood next to her, looking just as stunned.
“Just to think that people who normally don’t drink and drive would die from that,” she said. “It’s so sad.”
Accidents like this, Gall told the crowd, happen because people make the wrong choices: drinking and driving, texting while driving or simply getting a ride with someone who is doing either.
“This is what we don’t want to happen,” he said. “This is preventable.”
Juniors and seniors met at the school’s gymnasium after the fake crash, where coach Darren Brown eulogized Carlson.
Eric Munson, the husband of city of Snoqualmie employee Becky Munson, followed Brown with the story of a real-life tragedy: the death of their daughter in a car accident in 2004.
“I’m here to tell you,” Munson told students, some wiping away tears, “that this can happen to you.
“I will never be able to give her a hug or a kiss, see her smile or laugh, things that you take for granted.”
McCulley, the daughter of a Snoqualmie Police captain, closed the event with a short speech that left her in tears.
“I hope,” she said of her schoolmates afterward, “that they make good choices on prom night.”
Sebastian Moraga: 392-6434, ext. 221, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.snovalleystar.com.