Troopers school teen drivers following recent fatal crashes

Updated: Jan. 21, 2020 at 6:19 PM CST
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WETUMPKA, Ala. (WSFA) - A series of deadly crashes prompted teachers at Wetumpka High School to call Alabama State Troopers in an effort to open the eyes of teen drivers on campus.

More than 150 students from three different area high schools participated.

“Car crashes are what,” Trooper Michael Carswell asked the class. “Preventable. Nine out of ten crashes are a result of human error. If you’re driving down the road, that car doesn’t just drive itself off the wrong side of the road.”

Carswell appealed to the students by debunking myths about impaired driving, the danger of distracted driving, and even showed the consequences of those actions with graphic photos of fatal crashes.

“When they see the pictures that puts them in the place that that’s them, their friends, their family, or loved ones - it really brings it home,” he explained.

The students heard the message loud and clear.

“Don’t drive when you’re under the influence of anything,” senior Elizabeth Hurley said of what she’s taking away from the class. “It not only can kill you but also kill other people.”

That feedback is the very reason teachers arranged this class.

“When we have outside agencies and officers speak to them, it has a lot more meaning,” said Sgt. 1st Class Danny Hunter, who also serves as a JROTC instructor at Wetumpka High.

This class comes on the heels of a fatal crash that killed three teens in Geneva and another triple fatal crash in Wetumpka. The lone survivor was the only person in the car wearing a seatbelt.

“I feel seatbelt safety is so important,” said Hunter. “Now, if you’re a passenger in a vehicle, all passengers must have on seat belts. It will save lives and that’s the Law.”

Carswell drove home that point and the concept that students are responsible for what happens behind the wheel.

“At the end of the day, you can take somebody else’s life unintentionally and somebody can take yours,” Carswell said. “So it’s your responsibility to make sure that you’re driving and aware.”

An important lesson on the road of life.

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