A number of guests joined 97 young people in Year 11 (aged 15 or so) children from Whitecross School to spend a morning learning what can so easily happen if the driver of a car is distracted either by what the driver and/or his passengers are doing.
After an introduction, we were given a demonstration of what happens at a car crash, with two cars smashed into each other (actually cars from separate real crashes) both with driver actors made up to look the part. A running commentary was given as the Fire and Rescue service cut the drivers out – one simulating being dead – the ambulance service treated the one simulating being alive before loading them into an ambulance while the police took notes and, in a real situation, would have controlled the traffic.
This was followed by a series of workshops by the Fire and Rescue, the Police and the Ambulance Service. We saw some no holds barred films. Shocked silence was the reaction.
The session ended with Ange Tyler telling her story. Ange lost her daughter, Emma Louise Young, in a car crash, aged 23. Angie has managed to channel her grief into a determination to try to keep young drivers safe on the road. We first met at the Police Cadet awards, who have adopted the ELY Memorial Trust as their preferred charity for the year, on 22nd July. Ange relives her anguish again and again in front of a large audience in order to steer others away from the same situation.
The programme aims to bring all the Year 11 young people in Herefordshire to a similar course. If it saves some lives, and it will, it is worth the trauma of being confronted by the possible consequences.
No event has made more impact on us than this one.