Eatmon’s Grim Day

Wade Eatmon holds up Erik Beene's tombstone. Photo by: Ashlynn Payne

Wade Eatmon holds up Erik Beene’s tombstone. Photo by: Ashlynn Payne

Every 56 minutes a distracted teen dies in a car accident. Senior Wade Eatmon spent Friday, Nov. 6 reminding students of this.

JOCO Teen Drivers puts on Grim Reaper Day annually to demonstrate to students what it is really like to have a life taken away from distracted driving. Eatmon, dressed in a cloak as a symbol of death, would pull students out class. The students’ faces were painted white and they weren’t allowed to talk the rest of the day.

“It really sticks with students to realize that their comrades or friends could be dead. A lot of people were scared when I was creeping in classrooms to show that death was among them,” Eatmon said.

Eatmon was chosen to be the Grim Reaper because he is tall and good at keeping a straight face.

“Being the Grim Reaper was both fun and sad. It was fun scaring students and teachers, but it was sad knowing what I represented,” said Eatmon. “The hardest part about being the grim reaper was definitely not talking or smiling all day.”

Before every death, a sound would come over the intercom so students throughout the school knew there was a death

“I think it really hit a lot of students that their friends could be dead when you hear the flat line,” Eatmon said.

Grim Reaper Day has been an annual event for many years, and JOCO Teen Drivers plan to continue the tradition.

“My advice for next year’s Grim Reaper would be to come prepared to not talk or smile no matter what they do,” Eatmon said.

Eatmon wants the black cloak and white painted face to be a daily reminder for students behind the wheel.

“I feel like I have made an impact on a lot of the school. Hopefully every time someone thinks about driving distracted, they see the Grim Reaper in the back of their minds.