School holds mock car wreck to show dangers of drunk driving

Published 3:34 pm Thursday, April 10, 2014

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Paramedics work to extract a student from a crashed vehicle during a mock car wreck held at Chilton County High School on Thursday morning.

On the eve of their school’s prom, hundreds of Chilton County High School students filed into Tiger Stadium for a program Thursday morning, not knowing what they would see on the football field.

In the warm April sunshine, students watched a grim scene unfold as their peers, local law enforcement officers and emergency personnel acted out a mock car wreck on prom night.

Although all aspects of the wreck and aftermath were staged, organizers aimed to make the scene look as real as they could to illustrate to students the dangers of drunk driving.

“We wanted to make it as real as possible,” CCHS teacher Amanda Price said. “We wanted to really blindside them and hit them in the face with it.”

Price is the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) advisor at CCHS and spearheaded this year’s mock car wreck, which is the first one the school has held in nearly 10 years.

“Normally, SADD does an assembly before prom,” Price said. “It’s one thing to talk about it, but it’s another for them to experience it.”

Two ambulances, a fire truck, several police cruisers, civilian vehicles and eventually a hearse carrying the coroner gathered at the scene on the field as students “involved” in the mock wreck narrated the events and described how their lives and their families’ lives changed because of their decisions.

The mock wreck included one fatality, two people sustaining life-threatening injuries and one person arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

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Police officers “arrest” a student for driving under the influence and crashing a vehicle with passengers on prom night during a mock car wreck Thursday at Chilton County High School.

Screams from the mother of the teen “killed” in the mock wreck echoed in the stadium when police officers told her that her son was dead.

A helicopter landed on the field to pick up a victim with life-threatening injuries for emergency transport to a hospital.

“I hope seeing this that students take it serious,” CCHS teacher Robin Parker said. “I think it’s going to give them something to think about. This really happens.”

Parker said she thinks all high school students in the county should be able to see the program.

“It was really good,” CCHS 10th grader Austin Powell said. “It was touching.”

Eleventh grader Ivory Simon said the mock wreck looked real and added, “Don’t drink and drive.”

Tenth grader Robert White described the scene as “scary.”

“I feel sad about it,” White said.

Price said students signed “prom promises” Thursday to commit not to drink and drive on prom night. She conducted a drawing from the promises to give prizes to the winners.

Price said she received help from many people throughout the county to hold the mock wreck.

Prom Promise Mock Car Wreck sponsors included: Clanton Fire Department, Clanton Police Department, Chilton County Sheriff’s Office, Chilton County 911, BREMS, Marks Towing and Auto Repair, Life Saver Helicopter, Chilton County Coroner’s Office, Regional Paramedical Services, CARE Ambulance Service, Chilton Shelby Mental Health, CCHS Focus, Elite Salon, Hollywood Nails and Clanton Walmart.

“This was a huge undertaking, and I have the support of my administration,” Price said.