By CATHY MOUNCE, Register Staff Writer
MUENSTER — Some area high school students got a firsthand look at the dangers of drunk driving during a “Shattered Dreams” accident simulation held Tuesday at Muenster High School.
Muenster Volunteer Fire Department, Muenster Police Department, Texas state troopers, Cooke County Emergency Medical Services and a Careflite helicopter participated in the mock accident.
Organized by the Muenster Fire Department, the “Shattered Dreams” program is designed to show high school juniors and seniors the consequences of drinking and driving.
The program shows what happens when poor choices are made and how the wrong choice can impact many lives for many years.
The mock drunk driving accident took place just south of Hornet Field in Muenster.
The scene included two wrecked vehicles positioned as if a crash had just occurred.
Students are used in the simulation as a haunting visual reminder how quickly a drunk driving incident can become a tragedy.
“This is the third time that I have witnessed this,” Muenster school secretary Charlotte Klement said, “We think it is very important for young drivers to see and understand what could happen. With prom coming up in three weeks, it is doubly important to focus on this issue at this time of the year.”
The “Shattered Dreams” program hits close to home for students in the Muenster area.
“We have lost 11 students since I have been at this school during the past 25 years,” Klement said. “ That is 11 too many. Even one is too many.”
The simulation seemed to have the desired effect on many of the students.
“This is very disturbing,” Makayla Moster, 16, said. “ It really makes you think.”
North Central Texas College (NCTC) cosmetology students were on hand to provide makeup assistance along with their program coordinator Shirley Meeks.
“The class used their talents to make all of the victims injuries look real, an important part of the scene,” Meeks said. “The visual impact is very powerful to the younger students.”
NCTC cosmetology student Shelby Parker, 18, said “Shattered Dreams” provides some stunning images.
“It is such a horrible thing to see and so sad,” she said.
Muenster Volunteer Fire Chief Herbie Knabe supervised the scene. He said that even though the accident is just a drill, the firefighters took it very seriously.
“In the United States, thousands of young drivers nationwide lose their lives in automobile accidents,” Knabe said, adding that alcohol use can lead to tragedies. “The use of alcoholic beverages by teenagers is a major contributing factor. Since we have been doing this program, I have seen a decrease in teen DWI accidents and fatalities. No matter what the cost, it is worth it if even one life is saved.”