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Mock crash staged at B.C. high school serves as cautionary tale

Emergency crews, school district staged crash to highlight risks of speeding, impaired, reckless driving

WARNING: This story includes details and visuals that some may find distressing.

As another year of “New” drivers get ready for the summer driving, the North Vancouver RCMP is offering a cautionary tale.

On Friday (May 26), RCMP in partnership with the North Vancouver school district, B.C. Emergency Health Services, fire crews and ICBC demonstrated a mock crash to students outside of Handsworth Secondary School. Student actors from the school took part, playing victims and witnesses.

The scene, which was “fatal,” involved two cars with ‘N’ stickers, with a Tesla having T-boned a Honda Civic. Each car had multiple occupants, with varying injuries and at least one fatality.

From there, Cpl. Paulo Arreaga narrated to the students watching what was going on. A “witness” called 911, fire crews and ambulances arrived on scene.

“All of us prepped for this, in order to showcase in a safe scenario to students, of what a collision might look like and the dangers and risks associated it,” he explained. “We had people taken away in ambulances. Some people were unresponsive. We had witnesses who were distraught. We had a parent come in, yelling, ‘oh my gosh, my child.’”

Arreaga said the hope was that the students would take it seriously.

“Whether it be distracted driving, speeding, impaired driving – especially now that grad season is coming up and summer is coming, we have more people driving around.”

Be aware of your surroundings, how many people you have in the car, and follow the rules of the road, he said.

“This is worst-case scenario. We never ever ever want to see.”

Brooklyn Joly, who played the at-fault driver, said being part of the mock crash really motivated her as a New driver to really pay attention.

Student actor Elina Niky, who portrayed a passenger of the at-fault driver, said she now realizes more of the dangers of driving.

“I’m really realizing now this is real life. An accident can happen in a second and someone’s life can be taken in just a moment.”

READ MORE: One dead after 2-vehicle crash in Surrey at Pattullo Bridge construction zone

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Lauren Collins

About the Author: Lauren Collins

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media's national team, after my journalism career took me across B.C. since I was 19 years old.
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