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Firemen, paramedics, police and a simulation

Fulda rescue personnel prepare the victim of a distracted driving accident for transport during a mock drill Wednesday afternoon in Fulda. The project was the culmination of three year FCCLA effort by Fulda High School students Taylor Kenney and Marissa Kunerth (seated front row at right). (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)

FULDA -- Students of Fulda High School listened Wednesday to special guests Wil Craig and Justin Iburg talk about the dangers of texting and driving, then watched a mock car crash enacted in the school parking lot.

The afternoon's events were organized by Future Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members Marissa Kunerth and Taylor Kenney.

Craig and Iburg have experienced firsthand the possible consequences of texting and driving. Craig was in the passenger seat while his girlfriend was texting and driving when she hit a telephone pole. Craig was in a coma and suffered severe brain damage from the crash.

Iburg was texting and driving when he killed another driver. Both speakers shared with the students how texting and driving completely changed their lives.

Kunerth and Kenney said only a handful of students at the high school knew about the mock crash that happened after the speakers finished their presentations.

"Everything was about as real as it could be," Kenney said. "The 911 call was played through the speakers so that everyone could hear it. The cars were miked, and so were the emergency responders' radios.

"That way, when they communicated with each other, the students were able to hear what's going on," Kunerth added.

Fulda EMT and Ambulance and the North Air Care helicopter from Redwood Falls responded to the call.

Four mock victims also participated, playing the roles of the driver, fatally injured victim, severely injured victim and victim with minor injuries. The funeral director came in a hearse to take the body away, and students watched as the mock victim's mother arrived on the scene and heard the news of her daughter's death.

"I'm sure it was a drastic reminder for the students to remember that it could have been them and the realization that it could happen to everyone," said Marcine Elder, Fulda FCCLA advisor.

To reinforce the message, Kunerth and Kenny wrote texting and distracted driving statistics on the sidewalks outside the high school.

"I'm overwhelmed at the cooperation from all the emergency services here and in the community. They did their job and went about it like they would a real crash," Elder said.

"Our goal is if we could save just one life, it's worth it, and I would say we've done our best to do so," Elder added.

Daily Globe Reporter Alyson Buschena may be reached at 376-7322.

Alyson Buschena
Alyson joined the Daily Globe newsroom staff after spending a year in Latin America. A native of Fulda and graduate of the University of Northwestern, she has a bachelor's degree in English with a dual concentration in Literature and Writing and a minor in Spanish. At the Daily Globe, Alyson covers the crime beat as well as Pipestone and Murray counties, community news and feature stories. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and cooking. More of Alyson's writing can be found at
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