Mock accident sends message

TICONDEROGA-A mock accident at Ticonderoga High School last week brought back some painful memories, but that was OK with Dan Herrmann.

"Sometimes kids make bad decisions," Herrmann, a Ti High senior, said. "Drinking and driving is dangerous business. We all know it, but sometimes we don't think things through like we should.

"We've had fatalities here," he continued. "We need to address this issue over and over."

Herrmann, a member of the Putnam Fire Department, arranged the mock accident with the Putnam and Ticonderoga fire companies, Ticonderoga Emergency Squad, Ticonderoga Police Department and school officials. It was held May 13, the day before the school prom.

"It seemed like a good time to give everyone a reminder about the dangers of drinking and driving," said Herrmann, who staged the mock accident as his senior project.

The scene on the front lawn of Ti High had a crashed truck with beer cans scattered about. The driver, portrayed by Tyler Tucker, was wandering about dazed and intoxicated. A passenger, played by Luke Bartlett, was trapped in the vehicle and had to be extricated by firefighters. Another passenger, portrayed by Nicole Trudeau, had been ejected from the truck and was dead.

Emergency personnel responded to the scene. Victims were treated, an arrest was made and the decreased was placed in a body bag.

"We're doing this just as if it were a real accident," Matt Watts, Ticonderoga assistant fire chief, explained. "We're trying to send a message here about drinking and driving." Watts praised Herrmann for his work in arranging the mock accident and his commitment to the Putnam Fire Department.

"I think Dan's shown a lot of initiative here," Watts said. "This was all his idea."

Herrmann said memories of a 2008 alcohol-related accident in Putnam involving Ti High students sparked his desire to stage the mock crash.

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