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Mock DWI crash rivets students, provides practice for emergency responders

"This was a very valuable exercise," Chestertown Fire Chief Jack Crossman said. "Everyone worked well together today."

About 14 firefighters of the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Co. worked side-by-side in the drill with 11 of their counterparts of the Horicon Volunteer Fire Department.

North Warren Emergency Squad Captain Jason Paul said the re-enactment was useful.

"This was a realistic drill, and good practice for us to work with the firefighters," he said.

Freshman Johna Howland watched the action.

"This really gives people the impact of the dangers of drunk driving," she said, noting the school's prom is this Saturday.

She was dressed in black, like 10 other of her fellow high school students. They had written stories, retelling potential consequences of drinking in a personal, detailed way. Conveying these narratives, in an assembly to all students grades 7 through 12, were Johna, Maria Rambone, Selena Stalmer, Phil Davidson, Patty Smith, Jen Gapp, Kimiya Hart, Meghan Erickson, Laura Tennyson, Julia Bolton, and Leslie Bruce. Dennis Kruithoff portrayed the Grim Reaper, assisted by Cassie Maday. Their presentations were followed by documentaries of families torn apart by drunken-driving tragedies.

"Victims" of the North Warren accident were Chelsea Crossman, Cody Griffen, Jasmine Morehouse, Katelyn Morehouse, and Craig Smith, who was the "arrested" drunken driver.

Sheriff's Patrol Officer Robert Gould finished a mock arrest of Smith, grim-faced and soaked with bogus blood.

"For sure, I hope this is a reality check for the students," he said.

Horicon Assistant Chief seconded the point.

"I hope it has a great impact on everybody," he said. "Almost all of us have experienced an incident like this."

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