Published on April 26, 2024

Owensboro Catholic Students Witness Sobering Impaired Driving Simulation

Owensboro Health Regional Hospital Trauma Services, in partnership with local emergency services, hosted a realistic simulation of the consequences of impaired driving for students of Owensboro Catholic High School. The "Ghost Out" program took place in the parking lot of Owensboro Sportscenter and featured a staged two-vehicle collision complete with emergency responders, flashing lights, and even an Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter landing.

Collision Reenactment

The simulation aimed to imitate the aftermath of a prom night gone wrong due to impaired driving. A high school senior played the role of an underage, impaired driver involved in a tragic accident. The scene was kept secret until the last moment to ensure a realistic impact on the students. The simulation's goal was to instill the serious consequences of distracted driving and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Adam Johnston, a retired Sergeant at Owensboro Police Department and a spokesperson for the event, emphasized the importance of such programs, especially timed around occasions like prom, when the risk of such incidents spikes.

After the staged accident, students watched doctors and nurses act out a scene where they could not save the accident victim and had to tell her mother. Surgeon and Trauma Medical Director Dr. Tony Decker then spoke to the students candidly in the trauma bay at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital.

Creating Ambassadors

Dr. Decker reminded the students to avoid drunk and distracted driving, urging them to put their phones down and pay attention. He highlighted the importance of planning a safe ride home and calling someone for help when unable to drive. He emphasized that nobody wants to experience what the students had witnessed, and parents would rather come to get their children than receive the terrible news of an accident.

Mike Mixson, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital’s director of trauma services, stressed the lasting impression left by the simulation. The dramatic reenactment seeks to engrain a vivid memory of the potential outcomes of impaired driving, reinforcing the message through realism rather than statistics alone. The program also included an assembly where obituaries of the fictional victims were read, a poignant reminder of the real-world consequences of such actions.

Community Partners

Owensboro Health has partnered with local agencies annually since 2015 to bring this program to area schools, only taking a break during COVID-19. While we will never know how many lives have been saved through simulations like this, we can be sure someone will think twice before they get behind the wheel.

Owensboro Health is proud to partner with our communities and would like to thank Owensboro Catholic Schools, Owensboro Police Department, Owensboro Fire Department, American Medical Response, Air Evac flight ambulance, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital Trauma Services, Haley McGinnis Funeral Home, J&D Towing and Repair, Daviess County Detention Center and Cinderella’s Closet for working together to accomplish this simulation.


Ghost Out Archive

Trinity High School 2023

Apollo High School 2019

Owensboro High School 2018

Owensboro Catholic High School 2017

Media Coverage:

Daviess County High School 2016

Media Coverage:

Apollo High School 2015

About Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a nonprofit health system with a mission to heal the sick and to improve the health of the communities it serves in Kentucky and Indiana. The system includes Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, nationally recognized for design, architecture and engineering; Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital; Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center; the Owensboro Health Medical Group comprised of over 350 providers at more than 30 locations; three outpatient Healthplex facilities, a certified medical fitness facility, the Healthpark; a weight management program, and the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center.

On average each year, we have more than 19,000 inpatient admissions, deliver 2,000 babies and provide the region’s only Level III NICU. Owensboro Health physicians perform nearly 33,000 surgical procedures, including nearly 150 open-heart surgeries. Our physicians and staff have 90,000 Emergency Department visits and more than 1.25 million outpatient visits annually. Visit our home page for more information.