MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Students in Massapequa went through a rare and sobering experience Wednesday, as the football field was turned into the scene of a simulated deadly drunken driving accident.
As CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported, the demonstration at Massapequa High School left the crowd speechless, and some were in tears. The would-be victims were the students’ peers.
In the scenario, a two-car crash on Long Island has left a student dead on the windshield of a car. Another vehicle was left on its side, with teenagers trapped, and nearby, the would-be drunken driver was seen staggering through a field sobriety test.
“Oh my God!” said a man playing the victim’s father. “Shannon, what happened? Where’s her boyfriend? Why’s he in cuffs?”
The man lunges at the drunken driver as he figures out what happened.
“You killed my daughter! What did you do?” he yells.
A student playing a parent spoke about the unexpected emotional impact.
“If something happened to my friends, I would be beside myself,” the student said. “So that’s really what happened was, I was just beside myself. It was real.”
While everything was staged — rags dyed to look like blood, cars donated and stripped down to look like wrecks – it was safe to say every paramedic and firefighter who attended had seen the real thing.
Members of the Massapequa Fire Department, the jaws of life, and real equipment helped extract the students.
And to drive the point further, school principal Barbara Williams shared her personal high school tragedy.
“Three of my friends died that night. It was a few months before graduation, and it was right about this time of year,” she said.
And Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano shared one of his experiences, too.
“This is a very important time in your lives, and my family,” he said. “We lost my niece in a tragic car accident.”
With prom on the horizon, those with hindsight tried to offer foresight to young lives that could be ruined with a bad choice.
A Massapequa firefighter suggested the demonstration to the school district, instead of just showing a movie, to take the message to the next level.
Do you think the demonstration should be staged in more schools? Leave your comments below…