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Mock Crash To Teach About OWI Perils

By Lisa Stratton
MARCH 30, 2007--Flashing lights, sirens, police officers and shattered vehicles are not usually a welcome sight on a college campus. For one night this April, all that changes.

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls is hosting the second annual Crash on Cascade on April 16 at 7 p.m. The mock-accident will take place on Third Street by North Hall.

A demonstration about the dangers of drunk driving, the crash is organized yearly by Changing the Attitudes of Students, Choices, Actions and Decisions Everyday (CASCADE), a campus peer health education group.

The event is also being put on as part of campus Greek Week. "Greeks are a big sponsor and a large number of the spectators at the crash," says Ryan Stovern, the vice president of CASCADE and a senior from Cameron, Wis. "They want to show students the serious consequences of alcohol."

Last year's crash was portrayed as a head-on collision. Stovern says this year's accident will be set up differently.

"This year the crash will be a t-bone situation," says Stovern, "We will have a River Falls family in one car and four to five students in another."

The event is being put on with the assistance of River Falls police, fire and ambulance services. UWRF Public Safety officers will also be involved. The mock-accident serves as both a public service event and a training exercise for emergency services staff.

"I think it's going to be a somber event for students. It's going to be as realistic as possible," says Stovern. "There will be a 9-1-1 call to River Falls dispatch and police, and EMS and fire will rush to the scene. They'll extract the victims from the cars in whatever way necessary and take them to the River Falls Hospital."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2005 Wisconsin had 389 alcohol-related fatalities, which account for 45 percent of all traffic deaths.

"I hope students come away from this event knowing not to drink and drive," says Stovern.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Ryan Stovern at


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:08:07 Central Daylight Time


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