Photo/Story Gallery 2004

Sending the Message Home

Student Chad Waldman handing Corporal Cheshire his driver's licenseThe DUI suspect performing a field sobriety exerciseRecently the Florida Highway Patrol took part in a mock fatal crash at Santa Fe Catholic High School in Lakeland. Troopers arrived on the scene to investigate a serious crash that included four fatalities and one trauma patient, played by students at Santa Fe.

Pictured left, Student Chad Waldman hands Corporal Cheshire his driver’s license and right, the DUI suspect performing a field sobriety exercise.

The cause of the crash, a drunk driver played by student Chad Waldman, survived the crash and was the subject of a DUI investigation. Corporal Roger Cheshire placed Waldman through a battery of field sobriety exercises and ultimately arrested him for DUI Manslaughter.

Even though this was a mock crash, the more than 200 students sat silently while they watched Fire and EMS personnel rip the crushed cars apart and load the trauma patient on board the helicopter that landed in the adjacent field. Overheard by a faculty member was one student commenting to another “This changed my plans for prom tomorrow night.”

Cpl. Cheshire places the drunk driver in his patrol carA grieving father identifies his son, student Jamie BeckerAfterwards, students and faculty had questions for Cpl. Cheshire and Trooper Larry Coggins about crashes, DUI, and fatalities.

Pictured left, Cpl. Cheshire places the drunk driver in his patrol car and right, a grieving father identifies his son, student Jamie Becker.

Both Cheshire and Coggins explained that the hardest part of the job is telling parents that their child is not coming home. This sent a message to the inquiring teens, giving them something to think about before making a decision that could have tragic consequences.