Last Thursday, juniors and seniors witnessed a mock car crash showing the devastating consequences of drunk driving.
The demonstration, put on by the students of STAAND (Students Taking Action Against Negative Decisions) with the help of the Substance Abuse Task force and the Bristol and Warren Police and Fire Departments, was held in the senior parking lot on Thursday morning. A video was shown to the juniors and seniors to set the stage for the devastating scene they would encounter as soon as they walked to the parking lot.
At approximately 9 am, hundreds of students gathered around the staged scene which featured two vehicles that had been involved in a head on collision. Members of STAAND, decked out in bloody makeup played the part of drivers and passengers involved in the mock drunk driving incident. A few moments later, members of the Bristol Police Department, Fire Department and EMTs arrived on scene in full force to show students how officials respond to similar accidents.
"One can only hope, if [the demonstration] makes a difference in one person then yes, it was all worth it," said Maria Ursini of the Substance Abuse Task Force.
Firefighters and EMTs spent more than 20 minutes extricating the student bodies from the two vehicles. Firefighters worked together to peel back a windshield and cut the roof off of one of the vehicles to get the students out.
One student who was removed from a vehicle was immediately placed on a backboard and sheets were draped over the body. Throughout the demonstration, the body stayed covered in the middle of the asphalt, providing students with an eerie reminder of the dangers of drunk driving.
According to Ursini, the presentation was the first of its kind to be demonstrated at Mt. Hope High School, and it took about a year to plan. Ursini says the event would not have been possible without the help and ideas from the Bristol Fire Department, Police Department, assistance from the school department, Warren Police and Fire Departments and the prevention coalition and hopes it will continue every two years.
In an effort to keep peers from making negative decisions, the students from STAAND also dedicated their prom night to Justin Nunes, a former Mt. Hope High School student who lost his life in a car accident in Bristol. To find out more about their promise and prom night dedication, see the held earlier this year.