Horror show is what it takes
THE blood and gore is fake, and the screams of pain are feigned, but there is a very serious message behind the Rocky Horror Roadshow.
Supported by the local emergency services and the RACQ, the live fatal accident demonstration aims to show one of our highest risk groups - year 12 students - that they are not 10 foot tall and bullet proof when they get behind the wheel of a car, especially if they are mixing with alcohol, drugs, and tomfoolery.
Over three days this week, more than 1000 students from schools across the district have been attending the demonstration at the Cityhope Church in Ripley.
Students are shown a video featuring four of their classmates in a party scenario, with the video ending just as the youngsters are about to crash the car.
The teens are then taken outside, where they are met with a realistic fatal crash scene.
One of the party goers is dead - ejected through the front windscreen - while another is badly injured in the back seat.
The driver is not injured, but a subsequent breath test shows him to be over the alcohol limit, and he is taken away in handcuffs. The other uninjured party is also arrested after the police notice her dropping a bag of pills on the ground.
Paramedics and firefighters work together to extricate and stabilise the injured passenger.
Having lost her son to a fatal crash near Toowoomba in 2006, Kathy MacDonald knows how crucial the message is.
Marcus MacDonald was only 19 when he was killed in a crash that happened while he was travelling from Goondiwindi to Toowoomba for a football game. His friend, 18-year-old Jamie McNulty, was also killed.
Mrs MacDonald, who started the Marcus MacDonald Charity after her son's death, said graphic and honest warnings about what happens in road accidents were critical for young people who'd just picked up their licence.
"I'd like to think that it works - we've had a lot of kids coming up wanting to shake my hand," she said.
"What I tell the students is that this is real. What I went through is not acting; this is what really happens after someone makes a bad driving decision."