Staged crash delivers a warning

"This provides a very valuable real-world exercise for everybody," he said.

In full turnout gear, Warrensburg Fire Chief Justin Hull offered a similar comment.

"This is an excellent exercise," he said. "Many of our firefighters don't get to go through such realistic scenes until it really happens."

Dave Alexander of Alexander Funeral Home said he's responded to quite a few drunken-driving crashes, where the blood was real, and the "victims" didn't have the privilege of returning to life's activities after the crash.

"Unfortunately, I've been to numerous crash scenes, and often it's young kids who think they're indestructible," he said.

School officials, who watched the drama unfold, noted that through the last 15 years, horrific car crashes have claimed a half-dozen or so local teenagers' lives, and in most cases, substance abuse was involved.

Principal Doug Duell watched as emergency responders attended to the needs of the blood-soaked victims, and a Warren County Sheriff's patrol officer interviewed the students in the crash.

"Unfortunately, we've been through real tragedies like this several times - and if today's presentation causes our students to think twice, it's been worthwhile."

Eleventh grader Erica Brauser watched the scene. She said it brought back memories of the death of a fellow student.

"This is hard to watch," she said.

Her friend Sandra Pope agreed.

"I can't imagine losing another friend like this."

Tenth grader Ashlie Morehouse watched the emergency medical technicians from Warrensburg and Bolton at work, tending to the mock carnage.

"This gives us insight into what really can happen," she said.

Strapped head to toe into a backboard in an ambulance, Dani DeSantis couldn't move.

"I hope no one's stupid enough to ever drink and drive," she said.

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