Travellers passing through the New South Wales southern tablelands town of Crookwell would be forgiven for mistaking a re-enactment for the real thing as local emergency services put on a show to drive home the message of road safety.
Onlookers were greeted with realistic sound effects of screaming tyres, tearing metal and the sounds of high-speed impact – followed by the cries of actors posing as victims.
The curtains were drawn back to reveal an overturned ute and three prone bodies covered in fake blood that slowly began to stir, simulating the shock experienced by real car accident victims.
As the figures began to move and cry out, members of the local police, fire and ambulance services – who had donated their time for the evening – raced onto the scene and began an in-character simulation of the manner in which emergency services process a crash scene.
The overturned vehicle was particularly tricky – with rescue crews focusing on this feature to ensure that no further injuries were inflicted on the ‘trapped’ individuals or their ‘saviours’.
Deputy captain of the Crookwell Fire and Rescue Service James Kennedy said he organised the event – which involved around 40 volunteers – because he felt that something had to be done to push home the road safety message.
He asserted: “Because we’re in a little local area we’re dealing with people we know, and there’s like an aura over the town for a certain time after that death.”
Kennedy is in a unique position to know all about the effects that a major accident can have on a country town – he also serves as Crookwell’s undertaker.
According to figures from various studies, just under half of all fatal road accidents in Australia occur on rural roads – with a further 14 per cent in communities of less that 50,000 people.
One report stated that – per kilometre driven – the chance of death occurring on a country road is around five times higher than more densely populated areas.
In Crookwell, there was an accident on May 13 that bore similarities to the re-enactment put on by emergency services.
It saw passers-by pull two injured men from a damaged ute moments before the vehicle erupted into flames.
The victims of motor collisions in NSW are usually able to apply for car accident compensation to help them cover the costs of associated medical treatments.
A car accident lawyer can help individuals to identify the medical documentation required to make a claim successful.