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Larned students observe mock crash
new Vlc Trooper Brent Hemken at lhs
Trooper Brent Hemkin describes what happened step-by-step during the mock crash. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO Janet Fleske

Larned High School celebrates Prom Saturday evening. Promenade will start at 6:45 p.m. at the Larned Community Center. There will be both an exterior promenade, and students will also be announced as they walk across the stage. Prom will be from 7:30-9 p.m., and an After Prom Party will be held until 3 a.m. at the Larned Middle School.

LARNED — Saturday night, students of Larned High School attending prom will have more than dancing and fancy attire on their minds. That’s because Wednesday afternoon, Larned High School’s Student Council Drive Safe Team organized a mock crash to remind prom-goers of the responsibility required when they get behind the wheel.
The mock crash, which occurred on Eighth Street, south of the high school, was part of a 45-minute presentation. It illustrated how high speed, alcohol, and distractions like texting result in disaster.
LHS Principal Troy Langdon said this is the first year the school has conducted a mock crash, and it is part of the school’s Seat-belts Are For Everyone (SAFE) program. Junior Hunter Fitzpatrick chaired the activity for the student council’s Drive Safe Team.
“This was a very positive program,” Langdon said. “The students were very attentive, and one was even spontaneously thanked one of the EMS personnel there for helping him recently when he had a roll-over (crash). Many students were moved by this event.”
Kansas Highway Patrol trooper Brent Hemkin provided a play-by-play of what students were witnessing as the aftermath of the mock crash rolled out.
Juniors Austin Glow, the passenger, and Alex Barger, the driver, were involved in a high speed crash. Larned Emergency Medical Services, Larned Fire and Rescue and the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office, as well as KHP troopers Ashley Martell and Hemkin brought realism to the event.
Gladow walked away with minor injuries, but Barger had to be extracted from the vehicle by EMS personnel and transported by ambulance to the nearest hospital. Sophomore Dalton Penka provided the vehicle for the presentation.
Langdon said the high school is undertaking the SAFE program as a proactive measure.
“We want to stay ahead of the game, and make sure the students understand how much we care about them,” he said.
On behalf of the student council, Fitzpatrick extended a special thank you to all the emergency responders that helped make the event possible. The student council, Fitzpatrick said, reminds everyone to buckle up, put phones away while driving, and never drink and drive.