THS FCCLA members organize mock accident to bring safety awareness to Tonganoxie
Danielle Focht and Shannon Haufler, Tonganoxie High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America members, soon will be graduating.
The THS seniors would have had another classmate graduating with them in May, Sierra Sommer, who died in an accident last summer near 166th Street and Evans Road when another vehicle didn’t see the the vehicle Sommer was in.
Focht and Haufler decided there was an FCCLA project they could do that could bring awareness to students to remind them of being safe when driving.
“Not only did we do this for Sierra and to get the awareness out, but in the past we’ve lost students to car accidents,” Focht said.
A handful of fellow students served as actors in a mock accident on the access road on the Tonganoxie High School campus.
Kim Swearngin, THS FCCLA adviser, said Focht and Haufler worked with local agencies to make the mock accident a reality.
Most of the THS student body attended the event, as students could opt out if they were not comfortable with the scene. Swearngin said roughly 600 students were there.
Tonganoxie City Fire Department, Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office, Tonganoxie Police and Leavenworth County Emergency Medical Service staff too part in the mock accident.
During the scenario, the driver of one car was found to be driving under the influence, while someone in the other vehicle died as a result of the accident.
“The overall reaction was very positive,” Swearngin said. “I felt like the students paid attention.”
It’s also something that Swearngin hopes students will be able to witness in future school years.
“This was our first year,” she said. “We would like to continue and expand on it.
She said Focht and Haufler would be going next week to Pleasant Ridge High School near Easton to learn more about the process and get advice from that school district, which has conducted the mock wrecks for several years.
For further exercises in raising traffic safety awareness, FCCLA will be have students ride tricycles while wearing impairment goggles, texting and putting on makeup “to show that you can’t do more than one thing at a time,” Haufler said.
The mock event also was to provide a good reminder, as Focht and Haufler noted, about making good decisions, especially this time of year with prom and graduation seasons coming.
“We want everyone to be safe,” Swearngin said. “We want everyone make good decision.”