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Video: Mock crash is a sobering reminder of consequences

For members of the Hudson Fire Department and St. Croix EMS - including Amanda Groshens (back to the camera) and, to the right, Jennifer Hintze-Olson - the mock crash qualifies as a "real" training session for which they volunteer their time. Above, they are extricating passengers from each car, while Hudson High School students look on. Photos by Margaret Ontl2 / 3
Anna Johnson portrayed the sober driver injured in the mock crash. Photo by Margaret Ontl3 / 3

Life changed last week for a number of students who were traveling in two cars. One car was driven by a drunk driver heading to prom with his date and another couple. The other contained four girls driving to prom to see the grand march.

In a moment, life changed for all eight of them. Two of them died, six of them received various injuries and one was arrested and later found guilty of two deaths.

Of course it was a mock crash, but everything about it was real - with the Hudson Fire Department, Hudson Police Department, St. Croix EMS, LifeLink and O'Connell's Funeral Home responding to the scene.

The event ran from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, in the parking lot at St. Patrick's Church.

The event is sponsored by Hudson High School SADD and funded by donations from area business and two fund-raising events. The school district's only cost was rental of the sound system.

Students filled out a survey before and after the mock crash. Results will be available in mid-May.

According to Stacey Tiedemann, coordinator of the event, school officials are anxious to see if the survey results will reflect a change in attitude from before to after the event.

All of the emergency response crews used the event as a "real time" training session, volunteering their time.

The 32 members of SADD held bi-weekly meetings since January with the various emergency crews, O'Connell Funeral Home and the court house staff.

From the crash scene to the funeral and trial, students could take lessons away from each portion of the day.

"We had another safe prom night," said Tiedemann. "Hopefully our event and the at home-discussions which followed helped make that happen."