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Teen Bash to Prevent Teen Crash held at FHS

May 23, 2013

Pictured L to R are Marissa Kunerth, one of the organizers of the event,  mock accident victims Myah Holinka, Olivia Baerenwald, Kole Kramer, Allison Kenney, and organizers Taylor Kenney. 
Pictured L to R are Marissa Kunerth, one of the organizers of the event, mock accident victims Myah Holinka, Olivia Baerenwald, Kole Kramer, Allison Kenney, and organizers Taylor Kenney.
For Full Coverage and photos look to the Fulda Free Press print edition.
“I didn’t expect it to be as real as it was. It was seriously scarry. I wasn’t affected until the fire and rescue came and then the ambulance - and I thought ‘this could really be happening,’ Wednesday’s mock accident victim, Olivia Baerenwald, said when asked how her role in the mock accident had affected her.

Fulda Future Careers and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members Taylor Kenney and Marissa Kunerth served as organizers for the Teen Bash to Prevent Teen Crash and the mock accident which was “caused” by a distracted driver who had chosen to text on his cell phone immediately before the crash.

The Teen Bash to Prevent Teen Crash is the culmination of Kenney’s and Kunerth’s three-year project about preventing distracted driving. The two teens have been working through the National Organization for Youth Safety and Act Out Loud.

Indoor assembly

With the entire high school student body, and the Fulda Elementary sixth grade class, gathered in the gymnasium for an indoor assembly, Justin Iburg, Mitchell, SD, began his part of the program by saying the students “I am just an average American kid. I grew up on a farm east of Mitchell, SD, graduated from Mitchell High School, and attended Southeast Community College.” Iburg is employed at Davison County Implement, a John Deere store owned and operated by C and B Operations.

“On Monday, September 20, 2010, at 7 p.m., I was on my way home and there was a construction zone. I heard my phone, reached into my pocket, looked at the text message, and heard a great big crash,” Iburg said.

Iburg was acquitted of second degree manslaughter and charged with reckless driving in the death of his 44 year old neighbor, Jon Christensen.

The judge gave Iburg a choice:

•1 year in jail and no license for 30 days


•No license for five years, 100 days in jail, 25 presentations about distracted driving to assemblies, and 2 years of probation.

“I chose the no license for five years, the 100 days in jail, two years of probation and 25 presentations. The presentation to you today makes this my 53rd presentation,” Iburg stated. “I took a life, so if by doing these presentations, I can save even one life...that is what makes it worthwhile.”

Wil Kraig, National Spokesperson for AT& T’s It Can Wait distracted driving campaign was next to speak. He only accepts five speaking engagements per year and chose to come and speak at Fulda High School.

Kraig was a passenger in a vehicle whose driver chose to text while driving. The vehicle went out of control and when its motion ended, Kraig’s side of the car was wrapped around a tree. “I died three times before my eighteenth birthday. The Emergency Services people had to take me out of the vehicle though the wind shield. I was very badly injured and they did not expect me to live,” Kraig shared.

His walk, speech and hand motions were all affected by the accident. Kraig suffered a severe traumatic brain injury which required several surgeries to help his body perform as it does today.

“Whenever you receive a text message or a phone call, just remember, whatever it is, It Can Wait,” Kraig told the students.


mock crash

What followed the indoor assembly outdoors on the FHS parking lot had been kept secret and silent as organizers hoped to bring the utmost realism to those who had gathered for the outdoor event.

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