If you've never seen one of these, they can be pretty sobering (no pun intended).

High School students at Central High School in Camp Point will witness a mock crash reenactment presented in part by "ThinkFirst," an injury prevention program offered by Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield. The reenactment will begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 9 at the high school, 2110 Hwy. 94 N., Camp Point.

The outdoor event depicts what can happen when young drivers drink and drive or ride with distracted or impaired drivers. Wrecked vehicles will be on site. Some students will be dressed and made-up to appear as crash victims.

Emergency personnel normally summoned after a car crash will simulate their tasks. Those assisting are Central High School staff, Central Adams Rescue, Golden Fire Department, Camp Point Police Department, Adams County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois State Police, Rick Fulks of the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, and Adams County Coroner Jim Keller. David Maas and Bob Abbott will provide vehicles and towing services. Make-up for “victims” will be coordinated by SIU School of Medicine ThinkFirst staff. Guest speakers for this event will be Illinois State Police Trooper Mike Kindhart, Adams County Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Cifaldi, and Taylor Cooper, victim speaker from Beardstown High School.

“The purpose of the crash reenactment program is to show the real-life consequences of risk-taking behaviors,” says Mary Kay Reed, SIU instructor of surgery and project director. “Students are capable of making intelligent decisions.” This local program is a chapter of the ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation. ThinkFirst is presented as a public service at no cost to the school.

Each year 430,000 brain and spinal cord injuries occur in the United States; one-third happens to people between the ages of 15 and 24. "This year there will be more than 1,200 brain injuries and more than 800 spinal injuries in a 40-county area of central Illinois. The tragedy is most of these injuries are preventable," explains Reed.

ThinkFirst is funded by SIU School of Medicine and a federal grant provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation and administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety. Those interested in the program are invited to contact Reed at SIU School of Medicine, P.O. Box 19679, Springfield, IL 62794-9679, 217-545-9112.