Message sent: Mock crash ‘here to save your life’

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton Coroner Jerry Borden examines the deceased (actor) from Friday’s mock crash at Youngsville High School.

“To those who think no one cares, we do.”

That was the heart of the message that Youngsville Police Chief Todd Mineweaser brought to Friday’s mock crash assembly at Youngsville High School.

A host of agencies are required to pull the mock crash off and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office is at the forefront of coo

rdinating the effort.

Warren County Sheriff’s Deputy Rachel Canfield said “everybody is on board” and spoke about the time off work that many of the volunteers willingly take to be able to present the crash for the students.

“(There are) tens of thousand of dollars donated for each of these things,” Canfield said, in terms of money, resources and staff time.

The agencies participating included Youngsville, Starbrick and Garland volunteer fire departments, Youngsville and the City of Warren police departments, EmergyCare, Starflight, Nelson Funeral Home, the Warren County Coroner’s office, Warren County Adult Probation, Warren County Emergency Management, Youngsville Department of Public Works, the Warren County 911 Center and the Warren County Career Center. Chris Myers and Father Matthew Scott also assisted in the dramatization.

After the mock crash, an assembly was held where Mineweaser and Tim Courtney, whose daughter died in a drunk-driving crash, spoke to the students.

“I’m here to save your life,” Courtney told the students amid telling the story of his daughter’s life and tragic death. “I do this to make a difference. It’s your turn to stand up and make a difference.”

“If you injure somebody (while driving), you’re going to sit in state prison. You are going to go to prison,” Mineweaser said, noting there is a five year mandatory sentence for when texting while driving results in killing someone else.

“Life is pretty simple if you make good choices,” he said. “You don’t want to go through this stuff.”

Mineweaser told the students there are officers out nightly looking for individuals driving impaired.

“We’ll find you. You won’t get away.”

He said that the mock crash “is a big deal, a big deal to all of us” and “real” to those wearing badges.

“It’s 100 percent chaos,” he said of actual scenes similar to the mock scene. “It’s ok to cry. It’s sad. (The) memories never go away. These are all preventable.”

Citing work Youngsville students have done in the county’s Teen Driver Challenge, Mineweaser said “you know the laws. You know what you’re doing. Wear your seat belt. Make good choices.”