BCSO shows area students dangers of drinking and driving with mock wreck scene

Air Evac Life Team from McMinn County shows off their helicopter to Heritage High School students on Sept. 9.

Air Evac Life Team from McMinn County shows off their helicopter to Heritage High School students on Sept. 9.

Air Evac Life Team from McMinn County shows off their helicopter to Heritage High School students on Sept. 9.

Air Evac Life Team from McMinn County shows off their helicopter to Heritage High School students on Sept. 9.

Traffic Safety Deputy Kevin Clenden answers questions for Heritage High School students during the DUI course on Traffic Safety Unit Driver's Education Day Sept. 10.

Traffic Safety Deputy Kevin Clenden answers questions for Heritage High School students during the DUI course on Traffic Safety Unit Driver's Education Day Sept. 10.

Deputy Josh Blair with the Training Unit guides a Heritage High school student through the offset alley cone course the Blount County Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Unit's Drivers Education Day for Heritage High School on Sept. 10.

Deputy Josh Blair with the Training Unit guides a Heritage High school student through the offset alley cone course the Blount County Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Unit's Drivers Education Day for Heritage High School on Sept. 10.

Lt. Doyle Daugherty passes a ball to a William Blount student wearing Fatal Vision Goggles during William Blount High Schools Drivers Education Day at the Blount County Sheriff's Office driving track on Sept. 1.

Lt. Doyle Daugherty passes a ball to a William Blount student wearing Fatal Vision Goggles during William Blount High Schools Drivers Education Day at the Blount County Sheriff's Office driving track on Sept. 1.

In early September the Blount County Sheriff’s Office opened the driving track to area high school students to remind them of the hazards of drinking and driving and show them what happens when someone is cut out of their vehicle by emergency responders.

Students from Alcoa, Heritage and William Blount High Schools participated on separate days. Blount County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Marian O’Briant the sheriff’s office put on a similar program in April for the Heritage High School.

“The Heritage High School drivers education students liked it so much the teacher said they wanted to do it again,” O’Briant said.

Days were scheduled for Heritage High students to come to the driving track off County Farm Road in Blount County. William Blount and Alcoa high school students also learned about the program and spent time at the driving track.

Students got to see what happens when emergency personnel respond to a car crash. “They started the day with Blount County Fire Department and Rural/Metro Ambulance Service and they did a mock scene of extricating someone out of a vehicle using the “Jaws of life.”

O’Briant said that the Lifestar helicopter from the University of Tennessee Medical Center came one day and on the other days the Air Evac Life Team helicopter out of McMinn County was on display.

After that the students participated in field sobriety tests while wearing fatal vision goggles that mimicked the effect of alcohol on the body. They also drove on cone courses. “They went from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day and the traffic safety officers talked with them about the hazards of drinking and driving,” she said. “It’s a way for students to see our people are here to help them and make sure they stay safe.”

Deputy Patrick Pearson conceived the idea for the course. “We plan to do this class again in the spring for all of the high schools in the county who want to participate,” O’Briant said.

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