FORT WORTH -- A vivid simulation of a drunk driving crash at a Keller High School is part of a program to prevent alcohol-related deaths.
The doctors, nurses, firefighters and police officers who participated were all real, treating student actors just as they would individuals in an actual incident, part of the Shattered Lives program.
"We do spend a lot of time, energy and money to make sure it's as realistic as possible, and everything is just as it would be in real life," said Dr. Raj Gandhi, the trauma medical director at John Peter Smith Hospital, which participated in the program.
Student victims, who wore realistic makeup to depict their injuries, were taken to the actual hospital by ambulance and helicopter. There, they were rushed into the emergency room, where a team of doctors and nurses treated them. The staff all volunteered their time to participate in the event, and the scenarios were filmed by student camera crews to show back at school.
"We want to make it real, so our students know what can happen if they drink and drive," Gandhi said.
One of the students rushed to the hospital was Journee Lewis, a sophomore. Her parents were also called to the hospital. While they knew it was a simulation, they were taken aback when they saw their daughter in the ICU suffering a cardiac arrest.
"It was just so real in that moment, seeing her like that," said Chinita Lewis, her mother. "We were not prepared for the scene that was presented for us."
Journee said it was also powerful to be in the middle of the action. She said she hopes the program makes an impact on her fellow students.
"If it wasn't realistic, people wouldn't take it as seriously," she said. "And this just kind of gave us the edge to hit us as student."