Shattered Dreams scares students straight
Hundreds of Kapa’a High School juniors and seniors watched several of their classmates engage in a dramatized gory car wreck set in front of their school on Mailihuna Road Thursday morning.
Here’s how the realistic, but acted-out, incident went:
Two students died and one was critically injured in the crash fronting the school’s administration office, in which a pickup truck carrying three students was overturned, destroying the vehicle’s front end and the side panel of a sedan headed in the opposite direction.
The driver of the car, a Kapa’a woman, was arrested at the scene for driving under the influence after failing a sobriety test. She also failed a blood test conducted at the Kaua’i Police Department’s cellblock. She was released on $12,250 bail shortly after being booked.
She suffered minor injuries to the head and neck. Her passenger received some scrapes and bruises.
The driver was charged with negligent homicide, negligent injury and drunk driving. A court hearing on those charges is scheduled for next week, according to Kaua’i County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Soong.
One boy was ejected from the bed of the truck; American Medical Response Paramedics found him dead upon their arrival and transferred him to Borthwick Mortuary. The two girls riding in the front cab suffered head and body injuries. They were not wearing seat belts.
One of the girls died of a massive stomach wound en route to the emergency room at Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital.
The other girl had a punctured lung and chest wound and remains hospitalized. Students who witnessed the aftermath of the crash heard her screaming her friend’s name and “Is he hurt?” for the boy who died at the scene.
The scenario was part of the Shattered Dreams program, which demonstrates the very-real consequences of drinking and driving to high school students.
The Shattered Dreams program culminates today at Kapa’a High School with a school assembly for juniors and seniors, parents, teachers and the community. Last night, a retreat was held for “victims” and “Living Dead” at the Kapa’a Armory, where they participated in leadership activities, counseling and feedback sessions with chaperones and facilitators.
At school Thursday, a Grim Reaper escorted students from their classes every 15 minutes as a heartbeat sound was played over the school’s PA system. The Living Dead had their faces made up with white and gray makeup and did not communicate with anyone for the entire day, to seem “dead.” Statistics show that a person is killed in an alcohol-related car crash every 15 minutes in the United States.
The Living Dead who “died” before the crash paraded around the scene with the Grim Reaper.
After the crash scene was cleared, officers from the KPD’s Traffic Safety Unit gave mock death notifications to the parents of the victims while the crash victims received treatment at Mahelona Hospital.
The drunk driver, played by Rachel Toki, was brought to KPD headquarters while Daniel Cummings, who played the on-scene casualty, was taken away in a Borthwick hearse. The passenger of the car, Jacie Smith, was not seriously injured. The two victims, played by Hayley Fernandes and Jasmine Kuhaulua, were transported to Mahelona via AMR ambulance.
The 12 Living Dead were Bobby Arrisgado, Tara Bonilla, Kealoha Figaroa, Tommee Giltner, Ashley Kuhaulua, Timothy Lansdale, Darci Layosa, Abraham Mitnik, Carl Oshiro, Ava Pommerenk, Zuri Pommerenk, and Hope Rabang.
A video was produced by four Kapa’a students, Tim Hamilton, Tamra Martin, Reyn Mossman and Erik Sears, to be shown at today’s assembly.
Known alcohol use was not really one of the criteria for choosing the students to participate, said Kumu Kae’e Calica, who helped choose the students with Francis Takasaki, a peer education teacher. “One of the major criteria was the ability to effectively communicate to their peer groups. We chose the students based on a cross-section from the school,” she added.
Shattered Dreams Coordinator Moana Ta’a, of the Kaua’i Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition, called the program an important one in helping students realize the power of making good decisions.
Quality Control coordinator Jovita Sagadraca, also AMR’s Injury Prevention coordinator, assisted in making sure all teams were working together. Shattered Dreams was partially funded by the federal Department of Transportation and was sponsored by the state Department of Health’s Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition and Kaua’i Rural Health Association.
Staff Writer Kendyce Manguchei can be reached at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or 245-3681 (ext. 252).