Mock D.U.I scheduled this Friday at WCHS

Posted By | April 11, 2002 12:00 am

Kim Swindell Wood
The school year is almost over, but many activities are left to enjoy before the last day of studies. However, all the excitement can come to an abrupt halt if a teenager chooses to drink and drive.
Juniors and seniors are looking forward to prom night and graduation and with the anticipation of upcoming festivities, teenagers are gearing up for a final farewell to the long hours of studying. In an effort to educate White County’s youth about the consequences of drinking and driving, local emergency services personnel, along with school personnel, have combined their efforts to reenact a D.U.I. (driving under the influence) crash.
According to Sparta Fire Chief Ed Kay, this is the third year for the ‘large dose of reality’. The event will unfold on the west side of the White County High School football field, in front of the visitor’s grandstand. Kay said Edd Rogers Chevrolet will provide the vehicles that will be used at the accident scene.
The vehicles will be arranged in a simulated accident scene. According to Kay, there will be an individual who will drive up on the accident scene and call E-911 for help. “We will use the typical scenario,” said Kay. “We will portray two teenage couples in prom night attire in one vehicle and in the other vehicle, we plan to have a family consisting of parents and possibly two children.”
Kay said the accident site will be set ahead of time and kept covered until the classes have been seated in the grandstand. “I will present an introduction to the students to prepare them for what they are about to see and stress the seriousness of the situation,” said Kay.
Part of the introduction states, “You are witnessing an alcohol related crash. This is not an accident. This is a crash where someone dies needlessly because it could have been prevented.”
As the events unfold, Kay will describe in detail the drunk driver, the injured victims and innocent victims. The different departments of emergency services personnel will begin to arrive including the ambulance, deputy, police officer, fire truck and rescue squad.
According to Kay, an air ambulance from Air-Evac in Albany, Ky., will land on the field to transport the victims. “This will add an even greater impact to the entire reenactment,” said Kay. “The adrenaline levels are already pumping when you witness the emergency personnel administer assistance, but when you see those men and women land in that helicopter and jump out and run to get to the victims, the emotion is so high, I think it will be impossible for this group of students to not shed a few tears.”
Kay said the event will be video-taped and will be shown throughout the school at future dates. He said the purpose of the mock D.U.I is to raise the students’ awareness of drinking and using drugs.
When asked what final piece of advice he would give to teenagers, Kay said, “I can’t tell you not to drink, but if you’re going to drink, call me. I will come and get you myself and take you home, no questions asked. You can even call a police officer or deputy, no questions asked. We all will make sure you have a safe ride home.”

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