Mock DWI crash rivets students, provides practice for emergency responders

CHESTERTOWN - Firefighters smashed axes through the windshield of a car in the North Warren parking lot, then peeled back the roof as easy as removing the lid off a tin can.

Students lay motionless, covered with mock blood inside the sedan and a truck - smashed together as if they had just collided.

Emergency medical responders swarmed around the accident "victims," blocking their necks and preparing their bodies for transport. Nearby, a male student portraying a drunk driver was questioned by a patrol officer of the Warren County Sheriff's office.

About 100 students sat nearby on a grassy slope, watching the responders go through 40 minutes of work on the victims. The scene was a reenactment of a DWI crash, meant to convey a message to the students that driving and alcohol don't mix.

North Warren junior Crystalee French, who watched the swarm of responders and her fellow students being carted off on stretchers, said she got that message loud and clear.

"This is crazy," she said. "If I didn't know it was fake, I'd be really upset right now."

NWCS Freshman Erika Parker agreed.

"It seems sad and tragic to imagine how upset their families would be when they didn't get home," she said. "I'd never drive a car drunk or get into a car with a driver who's been drinking."

North Warren Audrey Harpp of Horicon, was watching nearby. She's a third-generation firefighter, a junior member of the Horicon Volunteer Fire Department. Her father was working on the crash.

"This is really good for students to know what people have to go through after a crash," she said. "They're really witnessing the consequences of drunk driving."

The reenactment of a DWI crash offered substantial benefits for the emergency responders, fire and emergency medical officials on the scene said.

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