St. Mary’s Dominican High School Sophomores learned life lessons about the consequences of impaired driving, distracted driving and not using a seat belt when they attended a Sudden Impact program at University Medical Center (UMC) and Touro Infirmary. The seven-hour program for high school sophomores was created by the LSU Level 1 Trauma Center in New Orleans and the Louisiana State Police. During the UMC visit, students met Ashlee Stokes and her father David Stokes. In 2008, Ashlee was severely injured in a car crash caused by a drunk driver. The Stokes family shared Ashlee’s story to educate others about the impact of impaired and distracted driving.
Sudden Impact was designed to prevent fatalities and injuries from driving impaired, distracted, and/or unrestrained andprovides testimony to the ramifications of driving while impaired from a medical, law enforcement, and victim perspective. Located at numerous hospitals across Southeastern Louisiana, the program places the teens in an unfamiliar environment while providing education on laws, decisions, communication and impairment. Since 2009, Dominican has participated in Sudden Impact.