Even the Grim Reaper responds to "crash" at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds today

Even the Grim Reaper responds to "crash" at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds today

(Sheridan, Wyo.) — For 45 minutes this afternoon, Sheridan County School District #1 students faced a frightening alternate reality.

In a simulation intended to educate young drivers about the dangers of distracted and drunk driving, several agencies staged a mock car crash in the Sheridan County Fairgrounds arena today.

Sheridan Fire-Rescue, the Sheridan County Sheriff's Office, the Sheridan Police Department and other local agencies came together to show the students just what happens when drivers take the wheel after drinking, and when distracted.

"911 — what is your emergency?" a voice boomed over the Sheridan County Fairgrounds arena speakers during the simulation.

"My friends ... there is blood everywhere," a female SCSD #1 student responded, acting the role of a passenger in the crash, which a narrator said happened near Tongue River Canyon.

Just minutes before, the narrator told the students gathered in the grandstands that in this alternate reality, their friends had been discussing graduation, and how they should all keep in touch forever.

And now, some of them lay dying, and one was on his way to the Sheridan County Detention Center, possibly facing vehicular homicide charges.

This alternate reality, though, is preventable. Every day, almost 30 people in the United States are fatally injured in a motor vehicle accident that involved a drunk driver, according to Drunk Driving Prevention. To keep teens from drinking and driving, parents, teachers and law enforcement are encouraged to educate their students about the legal and possible fatal ramifications of doing so.

And for those drivers tempted to check an iPhone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2014, 18 percent of injury crashes were reported as distraction-affected incidents.