Students witness what could happen in a very real way during mock crash

Photos and story by Mike Kellems

Westville Police Officer Nathan Hynek directs the suspected “intoxicated driver” through field sobriety testing.

Fire and EMS crews extricate “victims” from the crashed vehicle and administer medical assistance.

Sheriffs Deputy Kristina Wimmer and Westville Policeman Nathan Hynek place the “intoxicated driver” into custody.

A medical helicopter from Lutheran Air arrives at the mock crash scene.

Medics and the flight crew prepare the most critical “patient” to be transferred to the awaiting helicopter.

Deputy Scott Lanoue, the School Resource Officer assigned to Westville Schools, talks with the students about making good choices and encourages them to be supportive of each other in avoiding alcohol and drugs.


Twisted metal, broken glass and a loud explosion shook the ground and rattled the students at Westville High School Friday morning, April 12, 2019, during a mock crash.

Flashing lights, piercing sirens and police, fire and EMS vehicles rushing to the school are not part of the typical day, but in an ongoing effort to curb the loss of lives and educate students, LaPorte County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Lanoue organized a mock crash for the students just as prom season arrives.

While the car crash scenarios have changed over the years, the message from the Westville School Resource Officer remains the same: Make smart decisions and create fun, lasting memories of your high school years.

As the crash scenario plays out, Deputy Lanoue gives a play by play to the students via a loudspeaker: A drunk driver has caused a crash — a severe one. Critically injured patients are extricated by firefighters as paramedics tend to the injured. Due to one patient’s critical injuries, a medical helicopter is asked to respond. Police officers question the suspected intoxicated driver, conduct field sobriety testing and take the driver into custody.

Once the mock crash has played out, Deputy Lanoue gives a heartfelt speech about the dangers of impaired driving.The School Resource Officer encourages the students to be supportive of each other as they make good choices.

The mock crash would not have been possible without the assistance of several agencies, all of whom volunteered their time, expertise and equipment: Westville Fire Department, Westville Police Department, LaPorte County Emergency Medical Service, Lutheran Air, LaPorte County Coroner’s Office, and John’s Garage and Towing.

Deputy Lanoue and the students and staff at Westville High School wish to thank all of the volunteers who came together to deliver this important message.


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