Gina Deaton | Online Editor
Abbey Marshall | Staff Writer
Click to see clips from Mock Crash. Video by MBC News Reporter Julia Hollon
Stop and think.
These are the words that 1,700 juniors and seniors took away from the mock crash demonstration on April 17. The crash involved two cars damaged in advance to give the appearance of a head-on collision while actors from the drama department took on the roles of students involved in a fatal accident.
Senior Ryley Arnold, who portrayed the drunk driver in the scene, said the use of real students had a big impact on the audience.
“I think it’s very important that it was us, and it was people that they knew, and real names,” Arnold said. “I think it’s something you need to see, you need to understand; you could be in that situation, and that’s what makes it important and impactful.”
According to careflight outreach manager and flight nurse Mandy Via, it’s her duty as a member of the community to educate students about the consequences of their actions.
“One thing we do to support our community (and) give back to students and help them think about their choices: whether they’re drinking and driving, just not paying attention,” Via said. “Whatever we can do to help decrease those numbers is important and if I had to do this every day for the rest of my life, I would, just to save even one kid because we see the bad things.”
Administrator William Rice said he has personal experience with student loss and hopes that the spectators learned a valuable lesson.
“Unfortunately in my career, when I was teaching, I had two students that were killed a mile from school,” Rice said. “They were just going home for the day, driving home with another young man, and that young man was just distracted and driving and they were both killed literally one mile from the school. I’ve had experience with it and I’ve attended funerals and I know what it does to a community. My hope is that the 1,700 kids that watched this today really took that moment…to really listen to that message was and understand and see the severity of those easy decisions, you know, ‘I’m just going to check this one little text or I’m just going to drink this one beer’ and really learn something from it.”
Senior Leah Hall, who was staged to be thrown through the windshield and killed in the mock crash, said that being told to make good decisions could become redundant, and she was glad they had a new way of sharing that message.
“(Mock crash) hits you more,” Hall said. “Everybody says, ‘Don’t drink and drive’. You see the signs on the highway, like, ‘Stay alive, don’t drink and drive’. But when you see something like this, when it’s as real as it is, it’s so much more impactful.”
Via said that she hopes all viewers of the mock crash will take away one message: to always think before they act.
“Stop and think,” Via said. “We’ve all made choices and everybody has made a poor choice at some point, but if this program will stop one kid from making a poor choice and getting into this situation in real life, that’s worth it.”
Photos by Abbey Marshall and Gina Deaton
Originally posted on thecspn.com on April 17, 2015.