By Brittany Grooms, editor, Pocahontas High School Chieftain
POCAHONTAS, AR (PHS CHIEFTAIN) - "Is your life worth one word?" Students at Pocahontas High School were asked that question Thursday morning as they witnessed a mock vehicle accident that was the direct result of a student texting while driving.
Officer Travis Ireland of the Pocahontas Police Department was in charge of organizing the event which emphasized drivers keeping free of distractions when behind the wheel. Senior girls' basketball team members Hillary Hausman, Amanda Aston, Olivia Bell, Haley Tyler, and Emilie Avery worked closely with Officer Ireland to distribute surveys to the student body concerning texting and driving. They also conducted interviews to get student feedback on the issue. The girls then created a presentation to show students exactly how texting and driving affected the school itself. Pocahontas Police Chief Chad Mulligan presented each a Meritorious Service Award from the Pocahontas Police Department for their work in making Pocahontas a safer community.
In addition to the accident scene, students had the opportunity to hear from Shane Koster, who was involved in a near fatal accident in 2010. Koster warned the students against being distracted while driving. "It only takes one second for you to have an accident," Koster explained.
Personnel from Medic One and Five Rivers Medical Center also stressed the importance of avoiding distractions while driving. Members of the Pocahontas Police Department, Pocahontas Fire and Rescue, the Randolph County Coroner's Office, Medic One, and other local businesses and organizations took part in the dramatization.