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Mock Car Crash to Combat Drinking and Driving

Story by Allie Hanright
Photos by Emilee Wermenchuk

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[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t started with the sound of a siren. As the tarps were pulled off to reveal a brutal crash scene, the audience gasped. It was a beautiful, sunny Tuesday morning at Thornton Academy. The sun felt warm on the skin, yet everyone had goosebumps as they watched a mock car crash unfold in front of them.

The audience was engaged, oohing and aahing, as they watched seniors Katie Dube, Jake Buttarazzi, and Anthony Evans perform as drunk teens coming home from a party who had crashed head first into retired science teacher, Richard Parker. Katie hung out of the passenger side window.

“I am a dead body, I am getting ‘launched’ out of the windshield and from that I die instantly. At first, I was a little freaked out because it’s weird to think about your mortality like that, but I’m happy to be part of it to show people to make right choices,” said Katie, while the team of actors was setting up.

Jake, more fortunate than Katie, only had a compound fracture to the leg, a severe head injury, and a collapsed lung. As the ambulance arrived to take Jake away, the audience silenced and took out their phones once they realized how serious the situation was. Many recorded the scene and posted it to their social media, allowing it to spread like wildfire.

“I was excited, but also happy that we will be able to share this message to kids, to show how serious this situation is. I hope that they will know they are not invincible,” said Jake.

Lights on the emergency vehicles mimicked a twisted arcade game as the audience watched Anthony get put in handcuffs –– almost as though he took a chance at the game of life and failed. Everyone involved with the performance of the scene was so professional it almost felt real.

“It’s hard, we see this a lot. It’s good to show kids all of this,” said EMT Pat Dugas.

Alcohol is a major factor in traffic accidents. Based on data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was an alcohol-impaired traffic fatality every 53 minutes in 2014. An article from MADD stated that in the recent year there were 44 deaths involving alcohol in the state of Maine. Most students have only heard about fatal car crashes and hopefully will never experience one. This mock crash allows teens to experience a whole new view on the situation.

“It’s important to see what actually happens. The goal is to see different perspectives,” said school headmaster, Rene Menard. “To me the most impactful part was when the mom showed up –– I’m a dad –– Think about the situation you put your parents in. Stop and think about your actions. Teens are too impulsive. Think about the long-term consequences.”

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  1. Casey Belanger Casey Belanger May 13, 2016

    This is nothing to joke about. As a tow truck driver I see this kind of stuff all the time. I see people crash because of phones, drug, and alcohol. I’ve been to more crashes then you can think of in the past 4 years. As summer gets closer more crashes seem to happen due to tourist come to this state.

  2. ABCD ABCD May 13, 2016

    I think it was a waste of time because people know what would happened before they saw this.

  3. owen owen May 13, 2016

    This was a good experience to see because it shows people how dangerous it is to drink and drive because usually this is how it ends its awful to think that theres some things that happen like this all the time just because one person made a bad decision

  4. Paige LeBlanc Paige LeBlanc May 17, 2016

    I’m upset to have missed this mock accident! It looked so informative and like a good experience for all involved. It delivers a good message to students and let’s us be aware of the true danger of bad actions! Great story!

  5. Paige LeBlanc Paige LeBlanc May 17, 2016

    I’m upset to have missed this mock accident! It looked so informative and like a good experience for all involved. It delivers a good message to students and let’s us be aware of the true danger of bad actions! Great story!

  6. Maddie Hillman Maddie Hillman May 17, 2016

    Great experience and great article by Allie Hanright woww – love the intro.

  7. Emma Emma May 17, 2016

    Great story and great thing to experience. Truly eye opening

  8. Kaitlyn Kaitlyn May 17, 2016

    I think that this exercise made an impact on many students, and hopefully it will change the number of accidents that occur due to intoxication and distracted driving.

  9. Katie Katie May 17, 2016

    I thought the mock car crash was absolutely necessary for our students to see because it is something that can happen to everyone and it was very disappointing to look around me while watching, and see many of my peers weren’t taking it as seriously as they should have, and making jokes about what happened. I think everyone should be exposed to this sort of thing in all high schools.

  10. Emily Camire Emily Camire May 17, 2016

    This mock accident was executed so well by everyone involved, from the actors to the first responders. It left a lasting impact on myself and my peers that will hopefully help to prevent these tragic accidents from occuring in the future.

  11. Paige Paige May 17, 2016

    Great story! I wish I could have seen it. Very informative about the actions that lead to more dangerous situations!

  12. KLeb KLeb May 17, 2016

    Though this might have been a fake crash it greatly effected all involved. Mock experiences such as these are a great way to fully explain to the students the impact of such of an event. All young drives should have to watch a mock trial such as this one.

  13. Jeremy Jeremy May 18, 2016

    Looks like it would have been informative to see, especially for the younger students. I wish they would have included all of the classes in this event to demonstrate to the whole student body what a bad decision can cause.

  14. Robbie Nicholson Robbie Nicholson May 18, 2016

    Wow great article! The picture spooked me when it popped up on the home page.

  15. Garrett Garrett May 18, 2016

    Great article! Really opened my eyes.

  16. Anthony Evans Anthony Evans May 18, 2016

    Great article guys but where’s my interview?

  17. Hope Hall Hope Hall May 18, 2016

    I am so proud of all of you who contributed to this post. What a team effort and a powerful way to end the year. The end product is moving and hits the target in so many ways. Very, very impressed Allie, Emilee, Brandon, Derek, Tasha and all the class members who were interviewed and responded so thoughtfully. Let’s add a credit to the video so people know who produced it. Again. Amazing work documenting this event so it can continue to have impact long after it was over.

  18. Meaghan S. Meaghan S. May 19, 2016

    The TA Players did a fantastic job putting this on. I think it was a great learning experience for us all. Although, I think it didn’t affect students who drink and drive already as much as students who my not have done it in the first place.

  19. Bella Bella May 19, 2016

    This mock accident was very well done, and much needed. I believe and hope that it will have a true impact on teens. This is a serious matter!

  20. Daisy Daisy May 19, 2016

    This was really eye opening and very well done, it was extremely realistic and I hope this helps to prevent future accidents from happening to people in our community

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