Mock Crash

By: Rebekah Baum
By: Rebekah Baum

It's been shown that teenage drunk driving accidents and fatalities increase during this time of year, but students at Pecatonica High School learned a lesson they won't soon forget.

"The worst possible memory you could have of prom night is winding up in the ER covered in blood, and your date seriously hurt or dead," says Sgt. Youngblut of the Illinois State Police.

It's an effort to minimize the number of DUI accidents and fatalities on prom night. Seven students from Pecatonica High School's Key Club served as victims in a mock crash scenario.

"The 9/11 call comes in, and then we dispatch police, fire and helicopter, just like it would be at a real scene," say EMS Educator Tony Cellitti.

For 10 years, Cellitti from Rockford Health Systems has been organizing mock crashes. Dramatic make-up is placed on the students, and then they're placed in the cars. Sgt. David Youngblut says most people can't imagine the ugliness of a crash scene.

"We may have students simulating screaming during the mock crash, but it's not the same as hearing someone scream when they're in pain. You don't smell the same smells, you don't get the full ugliness of the scene. It's something you don't want to experience," says Sgt. Youngblut.

Around 40 emergency personnel took part in the mock crash, donating precious time in hopes that students will fully understand the severity of drunk driving.

“It shows you what happens. They'll have to cut your car open, and if you were drinking, you'll probably be taken to jail. It just shows you what happens," says Pecatonica High School senior Mike Stone.

It’s a valuable life lesson that organizers hope students will remember on prom night and every night thereafter.


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