The Shattered Lives program made its way to Caney Creek Feb. 27 and 28 to show students the dangers of distracted driving.
Seniors, juniors, parents and staff all watched the recreation of a car crash simulated in the student parking lot. The fake scene was created by director Brenda Jaszkowiak, along with other students who volunteered for the event. According to a March 2019 article, Jaszkowiak wanted to show how all kinds of distracted driving, not just drunk driving, is dangerous.
“We try to instill different lessons on communication, and how to be responsible, distracted driving, drinking and drugs.” Jaszkowiak said.
Students who participated in the program didn’t know their role until that morning. They were either going to be arrested, dead, or in the reck.
“I did learn more than I expected to,” senior Christina Pena said. “Drugs and alcohol have impacted so many people in their lives including mine and it just made me grateful that I’ve changed. The staff from shattered lives gave me that hand in case I did ever slip and I appreciate that.”
Other than the scene in the parking lot, students who participated were taken for the rest of the day and came back the next morning for the assembly. The ones who played the role of being dead were taken to the hospital and their parents wrote an obituary while the ones who got arrested went to jail.
“Driving drunk isn’t a joke,” senior Zoe Cason said. “With all of the charges I had it was 60-90 years in jail.”
Alumna Ryann Moore was a junior when the program last visited the campus three years ago. She was part of the wreck and said when she first heard it was coming back, she immediately raised her hand to help out.
“Most teenagers don’t pay attention to the road, they pay attention to their phone,” Moore said. “They realize, ‘I’ve been driving for so long, I can multitask,’ and then an accident happens. It’s just something that most teenagers don’t understand and dont respect.”
Junior Kameron Burton, who was pronounced “dead” at the scene, said the experience impacted her.
“I think just seeing it from the point of view that, ‘You’re dead,’ and when they took my pulse and they were like ‘You’re dead,’ it shocks you,” Burton said.
Parents of students involved in the scene were present and many broke into tears as they watched their child being carried into ambulances.
“Beyond this moment, one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” Tiffany Burton, Kameron’s mother, said in tears. “A parent should never have to write their child’s obituary.”
The Creek will have shattered lives come back again in three years to show the class of 2022 and 2023 the consequences of distracted driving and the responsibilities when behind a wheel.