Mock Crash & Trial

On Monday, April 26th SADD Board Members along with Community Members performed a Mock Crash. The students responsible for this event were the following: Laura Johnson, Megan Mensink, Jessica Moger, Ashleigh Skaalen, Chelsea Nagel, Michelle Forys, Jesse Whalen, Alex Skaalen, and Derek Scheevel. The high school staff that contributed their time and effort into this event was Heath Olstad, Joe Stevens, Gerri Nielson, Jackie Whitacre, Darrin Ellsworth, Lee Wendel, Dave Barlow and Melissa Skaadsem. The Community members that were involved were Chris Skaalen, Illene Schansberg, Bill Hanlon, Leif Erickson, Ed Lindstrom, Judge Benson, Brenda Pohlman, Harmony Ambulance Crew, Harmony Fire Department, Fillmore County Sheriff’s Department, Laura Johnson and Mayo One. The students began planning for this event back in October. Their message to everyone through this experience is to not drink and drive, and to wear your seat belt. The outcome of the mock crash was one student dead on arrival, one student paralyzed, two students with collar problems and broken bones and one student that died over night. Marsha Johnson played the role of a suffering and angry mom. Her role as mom accentuated the seriousness, emotional and relational side of this tragedy. Alex Skaalen, a twin, took the role of an EMT. He shared that it was difficult for him to see his sister Ashleigh in one of the cars. She was seriously injured and was the student that died later that day. Their dad, Chris, played the role of a fireman. The firemen and EMTS’ roles were as real as they could be. They used the “jaws of life” to get students out of the cars. Mayo One was a high light to the event. It brought drama and seriousness to the tragedy. Although this was a mock crash, the students involved have shared how real it was to them. On behalf of the SADD Board Members, I would like to thank all the community members and FCHS staff and students who volunteered their time and effort. It was amazing to see such dedication and passion toward this event.

The Mock Trial took place on Tuesday, April 26th and was led by Judge Benson. The varsity gym was turned into a mock “Fillmore County Court Room.” One could have heard a pin drop. Lee Wendel was the prosecuting attorney. He did a fine job convincing the court that the drunk driver was guilty and should pay for his poor choices. Mr. Ellsworth was the defending lawyer. His contribution was greatly appreciated. Officer Leif Erickson was put on the stand as well as several students that took place in the crash. He also escorted Derek Scheevel dressed in an orange suit and hand cuffs into and out of the court room. We owe Officer Leif Erickson a big thank you for his time and commitment that was put forth into this event. Judge Benson gave a message to the students after the mock trial. He shared that this mock trial was close to what actually would have taken place. If a youth from the age of 16-18 commits a crime such as this, he/she can be tried as an adult. He also shared that making poor choices like this can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter who you are. We appreciate Judge Benson’s time and support. I hope each person who attended the events took away the message to make good choices and stay away from drinking and driving. Just say, “NO!” And….wear your seat belt! Vicki Eide