LGH takes part in mock crash scenario for students

LGH mock crash

Lions Gate Hospital (LGH) partnered with North Vancouver RCMP, the District of North Vancouver Fire Department, School District 44, BC Emergency Health Services, North Shore Safety Council, and ICBC to conduct a mock-crash scenario recently as part of an awareness campaign for students.

17-year-old Megan Main thought she’d have to do a lot more acting when she agreed to participate in a mock crash scenario at Argyle Secondary School. The annual event was designed to raise awareness about distracted and impaired driving during the Grade 12 graduation season.

“It just felt so real,” said Main. “When they smashed the glass, both of us actually burst into tears. It felt like it took forever to get out and the ambulance ride to the hospital felt even longer. It was very eye-opening.”

The mock crash scene involved two vehicles that were in a T-bone crash configuration, with one vehicle hitting a picnic table, pinning one person under the truck. To get Main and her fellow students out of the vehicle, firefighters smashed the window and cut off the door while hundreds of Argyle students watched from the sidelines.

LGH Registered Nurse Kayla Brolly helped organize the event and said the reality of an actual crash can be harsh.

“Unfortunately, we have seen students and young people involved in vehicle crashes as a result of impaired, distracted, and reckless driving,” she said. “They die or suffer life-altering injuries. These injuries can deeply impact people, not just physically and mentally, but also affect their relationships, community and quality of life for a very long time. Today's take home was clear: drinking and driving is never worth it.”

It took about an hour for emergency crews to get the student actors out of the crashed car.

“These cars were not even that mangled,” said Laurence Cheng, Lions Bay unit chief with BC Emergency Health Services. “Picture a car wrapped around a pole and cutting people out would take much longer.”

Students were taken by ambulance to the LGH HOpe Centre, where they took part in a trauma response exercise in the simulation area.

16-year-old Findlay Gray was the student actor pinned beneath the truck.

“We want to inspire people to be safe and not drink and drive,” he said. “It’s kind of scary. I have fake bruises and fake sweat. If it was real, it’d probably be 100 times worse.”

After the event, student participants were asked for feedback and they described the experience as: “scary,” “fast,” and “terrifying.” One mentioned they had a friend who was in Grade 12 a few years ago and died in a drunk driving accident, so they appreciated helping to demonstrate the mock crash.

ICBC notes distracted driving is the top factor (30%) in casualty crashes involving young drivers followed by speed (16%) and impaired driving (7%).

“This mock crash event, although fake, demonstrates the impacts of poor driving decisions for themselves, their families and the community,” ICBC Road Safety & Community Coordinator Louisa Mendonça said. “It’s alarming that, each year, an average of 26 youth are killed and 9,600 are injured in crashes in B.C.”

North Vancouver RCMP Const. Mansoor Sahak says new drivers are eight times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than experienced drivers.

“Our hope is to prevent serious injuries or fatalities by showing this mock crash to new drivers to impress upon them the potentially devastating impact and implications of their decisions,” he said.

Photos from the mock crash event

LGH mock crash event
LGH mock crash event
LGH mock crash event
LGH mock crash event
LGH mock crash event
LGH mock crash event
Group photo