SOUTHBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — More than1,200 students sat alongside the softball field at Pomperaug High School in Southbury Tuesday to get a lesson outside the classroom that could save their life one day.
A mock DUI crash took place at the school to show students the aftermath of drinking while driving or using a phone while behind the wheel.
“It’s extremely important that the students are aware of the laws and what can happen to them if they take their eyes off the road for just one second,” said Debbie McCloghry, organizer of the event.
The mock crash simulated a head-on collision between two vehicles, with a total of eight people in the car. Many of them teenagers.
“Today we have two vehicles. One with 4 for passengers in it and the driver is impaired,” said Brian Jones with the Southbury Volunteer Firemen’s Association. “The other one is a parent driving with their teenage daughter and two other youths inside, which is illegal.”
Emergency responders from Southbury and Middlebury took part in the drill, making it as realistic as possible. Student watched their classmates be extricated from the vehicles, and some of them even placed in a hearse.
“It tugs on the heart a lot to see that,” said Rachel Meier, a senior at the high school.
This exercise could not come at a more appropriate time for students.
“Hopefully they’ll see this can actually happen to you,” said Meghan McCloghry, who played one of the crash victims. “It’s not something to mess around with especially with prom coming up and the fact we have graduation in a short amount of time.”
During the exercise, a bell was chimed every two minutes to simulate how often a car crash happens in the United States.
While Tuesday’s mock crash was geared towards the students, it goes well beyond that.
“Distracted driving isn’t just a youth problem. It’s something that everybody need to be concerned about,” said Jones.