Platte City residents that witnessed fire trucks, police and medical personnel in front of the Platte County Middle School on Tuesday, Feb. 7 need not worry.
No one was injured, and all of the flashing lights were to help spread a positive message. Platte county junior Ethan Ventress led a film crew and actors consisting of high school students to setup and film a crash scene on Platte Falls Road in front of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting building for as part of the Toyota TeenDrive365 video challenge.
Ventress heard about the competition and decided to brainstorm an idea that he could pull off in time for a submission later this month. He asked the Platte City Police Department for assistance to make the video as real as possible.
“We actually had a totally different idea to go with where we were going to hit a humorous side of it but then I came up with this idea of we need to come up with an idea that rips their heart out,” Ventress said.
Platte City Police Department chief Carl Mitchell helped Ventress by talking to the Northland Regional Ambulance District and then the Central Platte Fire Protection District. All three entities came together to offer help.
“It just snowballed from there, and we got everybody out here,” Ventress said.
The TeenDrive365 video challenge was developed to help educate teenagers to become safer drivers during their first years of driving, which have proven to be the most dangerous. Actions such as talking on the phone or to people in the car, not wearing a seatbelt, driving at night, texting, eating, adjusting the radio and the lack of driving experience can lead to fatal car crashes — the leading cause of teenage death in the United States.
The teenagers who make this video are encouraged to make a 30- to 60-second video for fellow teenagers that highlight the importance of safe driving that will resonate with their peers.
The first place winner will receive $15,000 and a chance to work with a Discovery Channel film crew to reshoot the winners video into a TV ready public service announcement. The second place winner will win get 10,000 and a behind-the-scenes trip to a Velocity Channel show taping. The third place winner receives $7,500 while fourth through tenth place finishers will receive $2,500 each.
A People’s Choice Winner will receive $5,000 and a behind-the-scenes trip to a Velocity Channel show taping.
All entries must be submitted by Thursday, Feb. 23 and the winners will be announced by April. Regional winners will be the highest scoring videos from each of the four United States regions, not including the top 10 finalists.