2018-05-02 / Front Page

Mock crash demo held at CHS


Senior Emily Minton is given a field sobriety test by an Indiana State Police Trooper. (Courtesy Photo) Senior Emily Minton is given a field sobriety test by an Indiana State Police Trooper. (Courtesy Photo) Emergency service agencies descended upon Cloverdale High School for a mock crash demonstration Tuesday, April 17. The initial dispatch sounded across the parking lot alerting the responding agencies of a serious motor vehicle crash with entrapment and the possibility of a fatality. It was a call those responders hear far too often. That is why they provide the demonstration each year to a local high school.

“We want to provide each student an opportunity to observe the incident once during their respective high school career,” said Indiana State Police Sgt. Cory Robinson. “We are trying to provide them with information to hopefully create better decision-making habits while driving our roadways.”

The radio communications were broadcast over external speakers, so that the students and staff could hear all of the radio transmissions. The responding personnel, with lights and sirens activated, raced to the crash scene. They began to triage injured, extricate the most critical, and investigate the crash scene as if it occurred somewhere in the county.


Putnam County Operation Life personnel work diligently to treat Senior Calvin Taylor and prepare to package him to be flown via Stat Flight Helicopter. (Courtesy Photo) Putnam County Operation Life personnel work diligently to treat Senior Calvin Taylor and prepare to package him to be flown via Stat Flight Helicopter. (Courtesy Photo) They quickly processed the scene, summoned Stat Flight air ambulance and requested the coroner for an apparent fatality. Those injured are treated and transported for further care. Those responsible for causing the crash are investigated and subsequently transported to jail.

It concluded with the removal of a deceased passenger by a local funeral home. Once the scene was rendered secured, the students returned inside the school for a convocation in the gymnasium.


Freshman Chase Ashcraft is being loaded in the hearse by Cloverdale Fire Department and Whitaker Funeral Home personnel as Putnam County Coroner Dave Brown observes. (Courtesy Photo) Freshman Chase Ashcraft is being loaded in the hearse by Cloverdale Fire Department and Whitaker Funeral Home personnel as Putnam County Coroner Dave Brown observes. (Courtesy Photo) The convocation, led by Sgt. Robinson, began with some brief opening remarks. “Several years ago, we seemed to have had a horrible accident involving a local high school student. Some years there were multiple crashes or multiple kids seriously injured or killed in one significant crash. They all seemed to happen around the same time period, which was from prom to graduation.

Therefore, we decided that we needed to try to do something more proactive to hopefully prevent them from happening again.”

Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter provided the students with actual cases that his office has prosecuted in recent years. He commented, “It doesn’t matter if you are the star athlete, a national honor society member, or a four year 4-H member. If you kill somebody, you will go to prison. The courts demand it, the victims’ families demand it, and the community demands it.”


Chase Ashcraft, freshman, lays lifeless on the hood of the vehicle while personnel from Cloverdale Fire Department work to stabilize and extricate Calvin Taylor, senior, from the vehicle. (Courtesy Photo) Chase Ashcraft, freshman, lays lifeless on the hood of the vehicle while personnel from Cloverdale Fire Department work to stabilize and extricate Calvin Taylor, senior, from the vehicle. (Courtesy Photo) He continued to review cases by showing crash photos while recounting the results of the individual cases. He closed by letting them know that they were encouraged to have fun and enjoy themselves at prom, but that they should have fun in the right manner.

The final guest speaker, Gary Hayden, was struck by a drunk driver while riding his motorcycle in eastern Putnam County. The result of the crash left him with an amputated left leg below the knee. He provided the students with his perspective of being the victim of such an incident.


Junior Hannah Rady, Sophomore Gayle Baugh, and Junior Libby Dominguez, who were participants in the crash scenario look on as emergency responders tend to the injured students. (Courtesy Photo) Junior Hannah Rady, Sophomore Gayle Baugh, and Junior Libby Dominguez, who were participants in the crash scenario look on as emergency responders tend to the injured students. (Courtesy Photo) He explained how it affected him and his family, to include his children. “I am unable to do all the things with my kids that I would like to do,” he said. He also showed the students photos of his foot during his recovery process. He concluded by removing his prosthetic leg while explaining that his recovery process has not yet been completed. He also explained to them the financial toll that his injuries have cost him and his family.

Principal Sonny Stoltz offered some closing remarks before releasing the students back to class. He thanked Sgt. Robinson and Zach Bowers for organizing the event.

“We have always had tremendous support from our local school corporations,” said Sgt. Robinson. “They continue to provide us with the time needed for such an event, and they do a fabulous job in organizing the day for us. We could not continue to provide this program without their assistance.”


Senior Calvin Taylor is being prepared to be flown via Stat Flight Helicopter. (Courtesy Photo) Senior Calvin Taylor is being prepared to be flown via Stat Flight Helicopter. (Courtesy Photo) Student participants were: freshman, Chase Ashcraft; sophomores, Kenzie Stoltz, Gayle Baugh; juniors, Libby Dominguez, Hannah Rady; and seniors, Eddie Mannan, Emily Minton, and Calvin Taylor.

Participating agencies were Cloverdale Fire Department, Putnam County Operation Life, Stat Flight, Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, Putnam County Coroner’s Office, Putnam County Prosecutor’s Office, Putnam County 911, Whitaker Funeral Home, Seniour’s Wrecker Service and photos by Zach Bowers.

The program will move off to Greencastle High School next year as part of its yearly rotation.

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