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A mock collision will be held at Southland Church Wednesday morning to increase awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.

The distracted driving event is being put on by United Driver Training with help from Southern Health EMS, The Steinbach Fire Department, Steinbach RCMP and STARS Air Ambulance. United Driver Training Spokesperson Tony Falk says the mock collision will start at 10 a.m. and wrap up at noon.

"We've got approximately 230 high school students being bused into this event and they are going to witness the realistic aftermath of a semi-truck versus car collision involving a fatality. This event will include a mock 911 call right through to a funeral service following the emergency response."

Falk says there are a variety of ways people can be distracted including eating and dealing with kids in the back seat. He notes this event will really show the effects of distracted driving.

"It is very impactful and I think we can just think back to the last couple of months, how often haven't we heard on the radio just in our area here, another head on crash or more people were taken to the hospital or flown away by STARS."

Falk says semi-truck drivers are higher up and can often see other drivers on their phones while they are on the road.

Troy Pauls is a flight paramedic and educator for STARS Air Ambulance. He notes this mock collision is the first of it's kind in southern Manitoba.

"We have done this mock crash in the city before, I don't know if they have happened to this scale in southern Manitoba but this will be the first one combining all of the chain of survival partners and providing some education to some high school students."

Pauls notes a STARS crew will be at the collision to some capacity, but the number one priority for the helicopter is mission dependent so it may not be able to make it to the event. He adds after the event, students will get a chance to talk to the various emergency groups about their jobs and roles in a collision of this nature.

Falk says there will be bleachers set up for the students and community members are welcome to come and watch the event but they will have to stand next to or behind the bleachers.



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