It’s become a prom week tradition for Xenia High School to give its junior class a memorable lesson in driving sober.
Thursday, drama students and first responders acted out a realistic prom-night scenario. It depicted two vehicles in an alcohol-related crash.
Beer cans spilled out of one of the cars when a visibly impaired driver in a pink prom dress tumbled out of the front seat. Her front passenger was slumped over the dash and another was trapped in the back seat.
The driver of the other vehicle was unconscious, while his passengers struggled out of the car with fake wounds.
Fire crews, police, state highway patrol and a Life Flight helicopter all responded to the staged crash.
“You’ll see videos with crash dummies, but it’s not the same as seeing someone you pass in the hallway and say hi to every morning… lifeless in a body bag or be ‘Life Flighted’ away in a helicopter,” said junior Isabel Tettau.
Many of the onlooking students said they were shaken up when the Greene County Coroner and a hearse arrived to take away one of the actors.
“It really felt like something went wrong,” Tettau said. “Just seeing Cameron laying on the dashboard… it really felt like he was gone. He’s such a good friend that it was really hard to watch.”
The annual simulation also included a series of speakers, including a county judge, law enforcement and the mother of teen killed in a drunk-driving crash.
“It’s really a community effort to keep our kids safe on prom night and every night,” said Dr. Hank Jackoby, the principal at Xenia High School.
Students said watching their friends in the mock crash was more effective than reading a textbook or getting a lecture.
“I don’t ever really want to drink or drive,” said junior Lorean Napper. “I’m not even driving yet, but it’s still something that will always be in my memory.”
The Xenia High School prom is Saturday, April 21st.