By Kathy Walsh
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – It is prom season and UCHealth is holding a pre-prom “P.A.R.T.Y.” which stands for Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth.
It is a special program that shows teenagers how driving impaired or distracted can affect their lives forever.
“They were traveling up I-25,” explained Colorado State Trooper Lisa Middleton.
She was talking to students from Overland High School in Aurora while standing next to a twisted wreck that once held two young men. The trooper explained that behind their car that day on I-25 was a driver on a cell phone.
“He wasn’t drunk. He wasn’t under the influence of many drugs. He was just distracted,” said Middleton.
So much so, Middleton explained, he rammed the car into a semi.
“He is living with the fact that he killed two people over that decision,” she said.
“It’s a tragedy, very sad,” said Overland sophomore Taylor Mcalpin.
The solemn P.A.R.T.Y. program is a sort of reality show meant to save young lives.
“Your best survivability is within that first hour of impact,” Kevin Sherman of the UCHealth Emergency Department explained to the students while demonstrating what happens when the ambulance arrives after a crash.
It’s hoped that seeing the mangled car and the resulting trauma is believing … and hearing Robyn Wolverton’s story hits home.
“I’m a registered nurse with the trauma program,” Wolverton told the students. She is also Manager of Trauma Outreach at UCHealth.
She was a paramedic, but quit after a call in 1998.
“The driver was 16-years-old. She had just got her driver’s license 10 days prior to this crash,” said Wolverton, “And she was dead on scene.”
The girl’s passengers were her older sister, who was critically injured, and her little brother.
The driver had been going too fast. The fatal crash changed Wolverton forever.
“The kids in this car were mine,” she explained.
Many of the students were visibly shaken by the talk. Wolverton’s story about her late daughter, Amy, is reality. She tells it so teenagers who think it can’t happen to them know that they are one text, one bad decision away from tragedy.
SHARE YOUR STORY: Share A Together 4 Colorado Story Idea With CBS4
The P.A.R.T.Y. program has been around since 2007. It is offered to high school students during the school year. It is also offered to youth groups, church groups and other groups in that age range.