Students silenced by shocking crash

Students from Fairvale High School wear emergency department gear for a selfie with registered nurse Melissa Heath.

It’s almost a miracle to be able to silence more than 6,000 high school students all under one roof.

The trigger was a dramatic and realistic car crash scenario played out before their eyes, as bstreetsmart kicked off it’s first day at Qudos Bank Arena.

His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley Governor of NSW, Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Roads, Maritime and Transport Kevin Anderson MP and Westmead and Auburn hospitals’ general manager Brett Thompson received pop-concert reactions to their addresses, with applause, screams and even the occasional Mexican wave.

Westmead Hospital’s annual bstreetsmart event aims to reduce the fatality and serious injury rates of young people in road crashes. It is a one-day program repeated over three days and exposes high school students to the trauma caused by road crashes with a real-life simulated crash scenario and interactive displays and presentations from road trauma survivors and family members of people killed in crashes.

The event is the brain child of Westmead Hospital trauma nurses Julie Seggie and Stephanie Wilson who have treated too many young people involved in motor vehicle crashes.

“Over the past five years (2013-2017) 184 young drivers aged 17 to 25 died on NSW roads and almost 3,700 were seriously injured,” Ms Wilson said.

“We want to get the message out to as many young people as possible that car crashes or pedestrian crashes can affect them and it is not only their lives that can possibly be changed forever, it will affect their family, friends and the wider community.

“bstreetsmart promotes safe driving and smart choices and aims to decrease the injury and mortality of our youth.”

Many staff from Westmead Hospital play a vital role with delivering this powerful and confronting educational message to the students who attend.

For more information about the bstreetsmart program, visit:

St John Ambulance CEO Sarah Lance, Centres for Road Safety and Maritime Safety executive director Bernard Carlon, Westmead trauma nurse Julie Seggie, Westmead and Auburn hospitals general manager Brett Thompson, The Honourable David Hurley Governor of NSW, Mrs Linda Hurley, Westmead trauma nurse Stephanie Wilson, Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson MP, Fire and Rescue NSW deputy commissioner Jim Hamilton, Westmead staff specialist Dr Ken Harrison.