Student Brody Hooper is loaded into a body bag as EMTs cut through the vehicle with jaws of life in the Mock Car accident at Elizabethtown Lewis School to warn students of dangers of drinking and driving.
With prom, graduation, and an opportunity to go out and participate in summer partying, the Elizabethtown-Lewis Emergency Medical Squad, Elizabethtown-Lewis Volunteer Fire Department, State Police and W. M. Marvin’s Sons Funeral Home staged a mock accident to portray the unpleasant and real life outcomes of drinking and driving on April 27.
The emergency squad set the scene with a white Jeep propped in the ditch on the other side of the Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School’s back fence on Hand Avenue. In the school field, high school students sat in bleachers on the windy Friday afternoon.
As the scene unfolded a student actor, Louis Scaglione, portrayed the drunk driver who left the vehicle with a few scratches. Inside the vehicle, two others were removed. One actor, Jenny McGinn, left the vehicle in critical condition, and another student, Brody Hooper, left the scene of the accident in a body bag and was put into the funeral home’s hearse.
Emergency medical technician Jessica Munoz said the personnel worked as they would in a real emergency situation.
Scaglione was put through real-life sobriety tests by a state police officer while standing in front of his classmates. The ELCS junior said the acting was sort of fun but the reality of the situation was heavy on him throughout his performance.
“You can act but you can never really understand the situation till you experience it,” Scaglione said. “I hope from this everyone can understand the fear of losing someone and I hope they go away with the knowledge that they don’t want to go through this. Then this will be worth it.”
With prom right around the corner, Scaglione said he plans on being “safer than safe can be.”
MOCK ACCIDENT TO TRUE STORY
After watching their classmates pulled from a mangled car, an ambulance, a hearse and a state police vehicle, the students went to the auditorium, where they listened to a real-life story of Alexis Collette. Alexis, 16-year-old girl from Keene Valley. She shared her experience of being in a car accident where the driver was intoxicated.
“Alexis really wanted to get out and share her story with other people,” EMT and event organizer Susie Saska said.
Alexis’s mother, Staci, spoke for her due to vocal cord damage she suffered in the accident that killed a friend of hers and resulted in another close friend going to jail.
“Her old life is gone, Staci said. “She struggles every day knowing her good friend is dead and she no longer speaks to the driver because it is just too painful.”
Staci told the students days after the December 2011 accident that there were many moments where they didn’t think her daughter would make it.
“I really felt the kids needed to see this to make it real to them, destroy the invincibility complex, make them realize this is real and could happen to anyone,” Saska said.