Staged crash shows dangers of drinking and driving

By ROYCE ARMSTRONG – Special to the Sun Herald


ROYCE ARMSTRONG/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD (During a drill Friday to demonstrate the dangers of driving under the influence, a student is loaded onto a Life Flight helicopter for a flight to USA Medical Center.)

Crashed cars, splattered blood, broken bodies and beer cans set against a backdrop of flashing blue lights and screaming sirens served as a vivid classroom for about 600 George County High School students Friday morning.

The juniors and seniors were taken out of their regular classes and escorted to the scene of a staged car accident in the high school parking lot.

Three wrecked vehicles representing a prom-night crash caused by a drunken driver were displayed.

Twelve student actors played the roles of accident victims.

Sheriff’s deputies, fire trucks and ambulances came screaming to the scene, just as if the accident were real.

EMTs assessed injuries, loaded victims in ambulances and called Life Flight for the most serious case. Three ambulances and the helicopter took victims to emergency rooms while expired victims were pronounced dead by the coroner, put into black body bags and loaded into a hearse.

One student onlooker fainted. Some watched with somber faces and tears in their eyes. Still others laughed with friends.

“I thought that the students were very attentive,” George County High School Principal Stewart Hurley said. “It was a real eye opener and some found it very disturbing. It was disturbing to me, watching students that I know be loaded into ambulances and a hearse. If this stops just one student from drinking and driving, then we will have succeeded.”
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