by Spc. April York
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
“Death Dealers” from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division gathered at the corner of Mister Street and Wetzel Avenue to witness a simulated collision March 18.
The crash, involving a passenger vehicle and a motorcycle, was staged to give Soldiers, Family members and civilian employees of the Mountain Post a realistic look at the ramifications resulting from drinking and driving.
“Soldiers hear about it and read about it in the newspaper, but this demonstration is meant to show firsthand what the rest of the story looks like,” said Lt. Col. Michael Simmering, commander, 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd BCT, 4th Inf. Div.
The event was made possible through the coordination of 1st Bn.,
67th Armor Reg., Colorado Springs Police Department, Fort Carson
Police Department, Fort Carson Fire Department, Memorial Hospital, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Designated Drivers of Colorado Springs.
The collision was already staged when Soldiers arrived at the simulated crash scene. Beer cans littered the street and the Soldiers involved in the crash were covered in fake blood.
As a part of the scenario, two Soldiers were inside a car. The driver was conscious and the passenger was “deceased.” There were also two Soldiers who had been on the motorcycle. Neither of them were wearing helmets or personal protective equipment, which is required at all times for military riders, on and off the installation. The motorcycle driver was lying on the street, deceased, and the passenger was up against the car.
A 911 call was played over the sound system while Soldiers watched the Fort Carson police and fire departments respond to the crash as if it were real.
“It is a very traumatic experience. There is rarely a dry eye,” said Lt. Thomas Prayne, traffic investigations supervisor for the Fort Carson Police Department. This training is conducted to stress to the troops the loss of life, he said.
Saving the life of even one person is very important to Staff Sgt. Jennifer Person, lead investigator on Fort Carson police traffic investigation section, assigned to 759th Military Police Battalion, who was a victim herself of a drunk driver.
“Just having one person stop and say, ‘I’m not going to
do this tonight. I’m going to call someone.’ That to me is
everything,” Person said.
During the investigation of this accident, police determined that the driver of the car had been under the influence of
alcohol and failed to stop at a stop sign.
“We are only as good as the sum of our individual choices,” Simmering said. This one Soldier’s bad decision ultimately changed the course of his life and the lives of others, he said.
“I talk to the Soldiers of (1st Bn., 67th Armor Reg.) on
many occasions. We are part of a team, and this team needs you
to be there when the call finally comes to serve,” Simmering said.