The Student News Site of West Delaware High School


The Student News Site of West Delaware High School


The Student News Site of West Delaware High School


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Andrea Kann, Staff • May 28, 2024
Wearing blue, over 100 students pose for a photo to show support.
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Lili Shappell, Staff • May 23, 2024
No backpacks will be allowed in classrooms beginning with the 2024-25 school year.
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Seth Goebel, Staff • May 21, 2024
Seth Jackson (11), Clark Morris (11), Levi Wilson-Bries (11), Christian Timmerman (11), and Nick Mensen (12) participate in state track.
Jumping for State Track
Lili Shappell, Staff • May 21, 2024
The cast of WDHA Radio performs their final scene.
WDHA Radio Takes Center Stage
Liz Sleper, Staff • April 5, 2024
Zach Wenger looks ahead during the state cross country meet, finishing the race with a 20:33.
Boredom Fuels Success
Liz Sleper, Staff • November 13, 2023
As a member of the panel, senior welding apprentice R.J. Helmrichs answers a question at the Work-based Learning Tour held at Henderson Products on Monday, Sept. 11.
Work Based Learning Tour
Keevan Hauschild, Staff • September 18, 2023
Memphis Voelker (9) grins as he walks up Lost Beach on Lake Delhi.
Shredding Through Summer
Lexi Harbach, Staff • March 21, 2022

A Fake Crash With Real Impact

West Delaware partners with local first responders to educate students about dangers of driving.
Liz Sleper
Senior Stephanie LaRosa is helped out of her vehicle during the mock crash.

The time is 12:30 p.m.

Blue lights flash and ambulance sirens pierce the air as a dozen volunteer firefighters and other emergency personnel jump onto the scene of a two-car crash. Blood pools on the ground and on the windows of the cars, and the students involved in the crash are visibly injured. The rescuers begin to extricate the victims as onlookers gather at the scene. 

Most importantly, it’s all fake. 

Junior Caleb Stocks is checked out by a medical professional on the scene. (Liz Sleper)

Delaware County Emergency Management contacted Superintendent Dr. Kristen Rickey and Principal Tim Felderman about the possibility of having a mock crash before the end of the school year. The administration felt it would be a good educational opportunity as well as an impactful reminder to students of the power of their decision-making behind the wheel. 

Upperclassmen shuffled out behind the old bus barn to watch the mock crash, which began with a 9-1-1 call and ended with a helicopter flyover, a full extrication of the “victims,” and an impactful video viewed in the school auditorium.

“Education was the number one purpose, and we know sometimes it doesn’t come from a textbook,” Felderman said. “We also wanted to fold in high-speed driving, distracted driving, texting and driving, things like that.”

Upperclassmen, including junior Gage Weber, watch firetrucks and EMS personnel pull up to the scene. (Liz Sleper)

The school enlisted several high school students to act as victims in the crash, with parent permission. The students were given makeup and prosthetic bones to attach to their bodies to make it look like they were truly injured. 

Junior Caleb Stocks was one of them. “Trapped” in a car with Stephanie La Rosa (12), the pair were covered with a blanket while the fire department took the roof off the car like they would in a real accident.

“When the blanket covered us in the crash, we had no idea what was going on outside of us,” Stocks said. “That would be scary if it was happening in a real accident.”

First responders treated the student actors as if they were real victims of a crash, as well as performed a mock sobriety test. Once they were out of their vehicles, the students were put in neck braces, loaded onto stretchers, and escorted away from the scene.

An officer performs a mock sobriety test on junior Tate Fettkether as a part of the mock crash. (Audrey Jolley)

Witnessing the mock crash was jarring for many students, including senior Ashleigh Hartman. 

“I don’t like this at all,” Hartman said as she watched the extrication. “It’s too realistic. What if I were Caleb, just lying there, waiting to be saved? It’s terrifying.”

Senior Daijah Foster felt the same.

“I would be very scared if I was in this situation, simply because I didn’t know all of this goes on with one crash,” Foster said. “It is a major deal to them.”

After the mock crash was over and all of the “victims” had been “rescued,” the students watching went back into the school to view a video about three teens who had actually been in a severe accident in Dubuque several years ago.

“How do you make an impact?” Felderman asked. “You get emotional. I think the video was the more emotional component because it brought in the family aspect.”

The students took a lot away from the crash, the video, and the reactions from their peers. 

“It was definitely a reminder to be responsible while driving,” Stocks said.

Junior Josie McMahon was another of the students who acted as a victim. “Being a part of the crash has definitely made me more cautious as a driver,” McMahon said. 

“I hope the students got something out of this,” Felderman said. “I hope they had the realization that split-second decisions can have a lasting impact.”

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About the Contributors
Liz Sleper
Liz Sleper, Staff
Hey! I’m Liz Sleper, a senior here at West Delaware. I’m super involved in extracurriculars; I participate in musical, all-state choir, all-state speech, student council, NHS, play, and journalism, and I run the spirit squad Twitter page. In my spare time (I don’t have much), you can find me lifting, skiing in the winter, watching my siblings’ sports games, watching scary movies, or playing guitar (badly). In the summer, I lifeguard and teach swim lessons at the Kramer Aquatic Center! I plan on attending the University of Iowa to major in Journalism and Mass Communications, hopefully also on a pre-law track. I’m incredibly excited to be a part of the yearbook team this year, and I’m looking forward to new experiences and opportunities!
Audrey Jolley
Audrey Jolley, Staff
Hi all! My name is Audrey Jolley and I am a senior at West Delaware. I am extremely involved here at school being a part of cross country, student council, musical, the Vocal All-State process, speech, All-State Speech, play, NHS, and show choir. In my spare time, I love to hang out with my friends and family. I have jobs at Fareway, Lori French Travel/La Beach Bum Tanning, and I lifeguard during the summer. After school, I plan to go into secondary education for high school English teaching.

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