Police Get Personal During Prom Safety Talk

By Dillon Thomas

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4 – With prom season upon us, one local high school did their part to encourage their students to practice safe driving.

Students at Wheat Ridge High School attended an assembly during school hours Friday, to hear more from locals who lost family members due to reckless, or intoxicated, driving.

One of the speakers, Wheat Ridge Police Officer John Bowman, shared the story of his son-in-law, who was killed in a rollover crash.

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Officer John Bowman speaks to students at Wheat Ridge High School (credit: CBS)

“Don’t ever think, ‘No, it won’t happen to me’,” Bowman said to the students. “Don’t ever think that. It can happen to anybody, and it just takes a second.”

Bowman’s son-in-law was killed in the crash, after being ejected through the sunroof. The crash also sent Bowman’s daughter to the hospital via air medical evacuation. Bowman’s grandson, a young child, was not critically injured due to being in a car seat.

wheatridge prom message rs raw 01 concatenated 103603 frame 18410 Police Get Personal During Prom Safety Talk

(credit: CBS)

“[My grandson had] no idea his mom is fighting every second for her life in the back of a medical chopper, and his dad is lying dead in the roadway,” Bowman said.

The mother of former Wheat Ridge High student Jordan Sprouse also spoke at the assembly. Wearing a shirt with her son’s photo on it, she told students he was killed by a drunk driver.

jordan sprouse 4 from his facebook Police Get Personal During Prom Safety Talk

Jordan Sprouse (credit: CBS)

“Unfortunately, things happen, and life is cut short for some,” she said.

With prom for Wheat Ridge High School taking place Saturday night, the school hoped the stories of the speakers would encourage students to make mature decisions.

“It makes them open their eyes, and see the results of their choices,” Bowman said.

Police told CBS4 five teenagers in the Wheat Ridge area were killed due to reckless driving incidents in the past five years.

“Since we have been doing these prom assemblies prior to prom, we have had zero [similar deaths] since then,” Bowman said.

Bowman said, if the speeches changed the decisions of one person, the assembly was successful.

“The choice that you make during that second, could literally affect your life, and everybody else’s life around you forever,” Bowman said. “Safe driving is not expensive. It is literally priceless.”

Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.

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