Fake crash teaches real life lessons

Students watch emergency crews respond to a mock DWI crash.

Students from Fatima and Iberia high schools were among a group of students from nine Missouri high schools to watch a mock drunk driving crash Friday morning.

"It was deep. It was really tough," Iberia senior Tierra Evans said.

"I thought it was terrible, it was so sad watching...I teared up. It was very emotional," Fatmia sophomore Madelyn Kloeppel said.

The setup is part of the annual "Team Spirit" conference. The conference brings teams of teens from different schools together to learn about leadership and safe driving strategies to take back and share.

"It's very emotional for them, but it's very impactful too," Carrie Wolken, the youth coordinator for the Traffic and Highway Safety Division of the Missouri Department of Transportation, said.

"We hear most of them say 'I want to do this at school because my friends need to know how dangerous this is, and that this can really happen.' Because teenagers don't believe it can happen to them."

For some of the students, the mock DWI hits close to home.

"This past two years we've lost a lot of close people at our school and I thought of all of them, and all of my friends that do not make good decisions," Evans said.

"Nobody thinks it's gonna happen to them, and it happens. And nobody will realize that."

Kloeppel said she'll also try to spread awareness.

"The first thing I think when I get home I'm gonna tell all the people I love just be safe, it's not smart," she said.