By Dan Boyd
Idaho State Journal
ARIMO Lights flashed, sirens blared and a helicopter
touched down on the blocked-off roadway. Through it all, Marsh
Valley High School students watched intently.
Two students were led away in handcuffs. One was airlifted
to Portneuf Medical Center. Another was pronounced dead at
This weeks event was part of a re-enactment staged
by the Bannock County Sheriff's Department to show students
the realities of drunken driving incidents.
Although it was only a demonstration, the sight of demolished
cars, medical personnel and law enforcement officers struck
"It can really happen," said Kaylena Michaelson,
a Marsh Valley junior. "A lot of people knew already,
but this made it more real."
Perhaps one reason why Marsh Valley students might already
know about the dangers of drunken driving is a recent incident
regarding one of their own.
On Nov. 8, 2003, Tyson Bullock, 17, was killed in a one-car
accident when the car he was riding in veered off Portneuf
MVHS teacher Scott Robinson said tragedies of this type affect
students, but that their lessons are sometimes forgotten.
"I think it has been a real eye-opener for the kids,"
Robinson said. "At that age things don't stick for very
Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said he usually receives
at least one or two calls a year regarding drunken driving
"This is the time of year, as the weather starts getting
better and party season starts, that we really worry about,"
Drunken driving accidents change the lives of everyone involved,
including their families, he said.
Nielsen said the re-enactments, which involve real professionals
from various work sectors, are done as authentically as possible
to show students what a DUI scene actually looks like.
"We're trying to make it as realistic as we can,"
From ripping off a car's roof, to removing two "victims"
on backboards to the arrival of a hearse, the demonstration
certainly looked real.
Marsh Valley students were randomly selected to take part
in the re-enactment, both as victims and perpetrators of the
Robinson said that for students, seeing their peers in handcuffs
and ambulances, even if wasn't real, provided a wake-up call.
"We had several students come into class who were earmarked
as dead," Robinson said. "Class was somewhat more
subdued after that."
Nielsen said Tuesday's reenactment was the third time an
event of this type was staged. The previous two dramatizations
were in Pocatello at Highland High School and Century High