Ukiah Mock Crash Startles Students


Ukiah Mock Crash Startles Students

I’m Ed Smith, a Ukiah personal injury lawyer. Recently, students of Ukiah High School witnessed a fake drunk driving accident staged outside of their campus. The accident was part of California Highway Patrol (CHP)’s “Every 15 Minutes” initiative, which is attempting to show students first-hand the possible consequences of combining driving and use of alcohol and/or drugs.

Every 15 Minutes

The program is made possible by a grant given jointly by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the California Office of Traffic Safety. The name of the program comes from a statistic from the NHTSA that shows that drunk driving causes a fatal accident in the United States at an average rate of one death every fifteen minutes. Officials of the program claim that they hope that their initiative will alter the statistic that is its namesake.

A Bloody Scene

A makeup artist of the program was interviewed by a local paper in Ukiah and said that she usually used two different types of fake blood to stage the accidents. One type, she noted, is made mostly of liquid starch and red food coloring and was thin enough to spread over seats of vehicles and the ground; the other fake blood is made from thick dish soap as its base so that it will be goopy enough to congeal in the fake wounds she designs. The artist said that this particular type of makeup art is called “moulage” and that she had taken courses in Sacramento in order to learn how to make her fake injuries look as lifelike as possible. She told reporters that she believes that the more real that her crash scenes look, the more likely they are to have a lasting impact on those who see them.

Crumpled Cars

The bloodied-up actors, after being treated to a gory makeup session, were placed in vehicles that had already been damaged in real accidents and that CHP officers had done their best to damage further in order to stress the intensity of the fake crash.

Mock Response

After the scene had been set, the sole survivor of the fake two-vehicle crash walked around the wreckage in despair as fire trucks and ambulances from the Ukiah Fire Department, as well as officers from CHP, arrived. CHP officers then interrogated the “survivor” who was promptly put in handcuffs and taken away to face criminal charges of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter.

Student Response

Although many of the students spectating that day were reportedly laughing at the fake wreckage and mock distress of their peers, a counselor from the school told reporters that she believes that this response is a typical way for teens to digest traumatic imagery and that she expects the program to have a genuine impact on many of them and, hopefully, save a few lives.

Ukiah Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Ukiah personal injury lawyer. Car accidents often lead to serious damages and injuries. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, call my local number at (707) 564-1900 for free and friendly advice. You can also call me toll-free at (800) 404-5400.

For more than 35 years, I’ve been offering my assistance to residents of Ukiah in recovering fair compensation in cases that involve wrongful death and personal injury.

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Photograph Attribution: By California Highway Patrol (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

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