A Grim Day at Treutlen H.S.

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May is National Youth Traffic Safety Month, and youth across the country are uniting to focus on the leading cause of death for them and their peers—traffic related crashes. National Youth Traffic Safety Month empowers youth to develop and lead traffic safety education projects and support law enforcement and effect legislation to protect teen drivers.

Recognizing the collaborative power of youth to create change and save lives, Tri-County Family Connection, Safe Kids of Toombs, and Surrounding Counties recently partnered with the National Organizations for Youth Safety to coordinate an alcohol and drug awareness program called Ghost Out and Crash Reenactment at Treutlen H.S.

Throughout the day, the grim reaper selects students from the Youth Action Team to represent victims of an alcohol or drug-related crash. The Ghost-Out culminates with a crash re-enactment in front of the student body. In the scene, three students who were drinking and driving have crashed into the vehicle of a student who was texting while driving. An ambulance, fire-rescue personnel, wrecker service, state patrol, coroner, funeral home and the police arrive on the scene where one student actor dies. After the crash re-enactment, victims are sent to the hospital and the scene converts to a funeral service.

“This powerful program sends a strong message to our students on the consequences of impaired driving,” said Kristy Bennett, director of Tri-County Family Connection. “We hope this will encourage them to make correct choices in life, and realize that one bad decision can change their lives forever.”

As part of the distracted driving project, students filmed highlights from the day and submitted their video to the Act Out Loud contest. Videos must creatively show how the team addressed distracted driving, involved its community, partnered with a community leader, and promoted National Youth Traffic Safety Month. The Treutlen H.S.  youth safety organization could win up to $10,000 if their video receives the most online votes.

“The students from our Youth Action Team have worked so hard to accomplish this task,” said Bennett. “The more votes we have the better the chance we have at winning. So, please vote for Treutlen H.S. We hope you enjoy our video.”

To vote for Treutlen H.S.:

  • Go to www.actoutloud.org and click on Georgia on the map, then click on Treutlen H.S.
  • Click on “Vote Now” and enter the information to cast your vote. 
  • Each person or e-mail address is limited to one vote per day. If votes are received by the same person on the same day, any votes after the first will be void.

Voting closes Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 11:59 p.m.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on average, someone dies every 30 minutes due to impaired driving and someone is injured about every two minutes. The risk of crashing rises dramatically with blood alcohol content at any age, and the effects are higher for drivers ages 16 to 20 than for those ages 35 to 49. More than 10 million youths, ages 12 to 20, in this country report they have consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. The rate of current alcohol consumption increases with increasing age according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2.4 percent at age 12 to 22.4 percent at age 16, and 56.7 percent at age 20.


Kristy Bennett, M.Ed.
Tri-County Family Connection Director

William Valladares
GaFCP Communications Manager

404-527-7394 (x114)