DUI danger illustrated before prom

Published 2:05 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Students at Pearl River Central High School watched a skit about drunk driving in the hopes that it would scare them into deciding not to drink and drive, and especially during the school’s prom this weekend.

High school students gathered at a practice field Tuesday morning where two cars had been set up to resemble the aftermath of a drunk driving accident. The program kicked off with a student removing a tarp covering the “accident scene” to reveal the wreckage.

One student acting the part of the “drunk driver,” climbed out of one of the vehicles, covered in fake blood. Three other occupants of his vehicle remained inside the vehicle, portraying passengers with serious injuries. Hanging just out of the second vehicle, which lay overturned, was a fatally injured student.

The first person to arrive on the scene was Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Westbrook who assessed the situation and called for medical and other emergency responders. Westbrook then questioned the “drunk driver” and administered a sobriety test. After failing the test, the skit continues with the “drunk driver” resisting arrest, prompting Westbrook to wrestle him to the ground and take him into custody. 

A Carriere Volunteer Fire Department vehicle and AAA ambulance responded to the scene and begin to extricate the three students trapped in the “drunk driver’s” vehicle using the jaws of life. After the roof of the vehicle is cut and peeled back like the top of a sardine can, the injured are taken to the ambulance. Rescue 7, the local ambulance helicopter, landed in the field to simulate transportation for one seriously injured passenger.

The deceased passenger from the second vehicle was wrapped in a white sheet and carried by funeral home personnel to a nearby hearse, while a student dressed as the Grim Reaper looked on.

Pearl River County School Security Chief Brandon Herrin said the skit was an attempt to persuade students to think twice about drinking and driving. With prom coming up this weekend for PRC High students, the purpose is to avoid deaths and injuries related to drunk driving.

“This 30 minute scenario is something we deal with every day,” said Carriere Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Chief Don Mieger after the skit came to an end. “We hope we never see any of you in this situation.”

Trey Wynn, one of the students acting in the skit, said playing a part in the scenario helped him decide not to drink and drive on prom night. Wynn said the things he learned from the skit will also help him make better decisions as he becomes an adult.

Prom sponsor Debra McCormick said Tuesday’s skit is one reason students are bussed to prom. She hopes the students will remember the skit and remain safe after leaving prom.

Herrin said he would like to thank the Carriere Volunteer Fire Department, MHP, AAA, Pearl River County Emergency Management Office and Todd’s Towing for helping with the skit in the effort to persuade students decide not to drink and drive during their lifetimes.