The scene of a crash involving a group of teenagers where some are unconscious and others critically injured is what students in Columbiana County witnessed Thursday.
With prom season just around the corner, the education department of Family Recovery Center hosted the 4th annual Mock Crash. The event is a dramatic demonstration of the aftermath of an accident involving reckless and intoxicated driving.
More than 1,200 teens packed the grand stand at the Columbiana County Fairgrounds where students from the county’s high schools took on the roles of driver, victims and those who didn’t make out of the crash alive. The scene was realistic and included firefighters, EMT’s, and even a medical helicopter.
Student actors were smeared in blood, placed in wrecked vehicles where emergency crews demonstrated how they respond to crashes and attempt to free injured victims.
“I don’t think the kids really understand how serious it really is and how much drinking and driving can really change your whole, complete life,” said mock drunk driver Anna Hardenrock.
A triage area was set up where EMT’s tended to the “injured” and at one point a white sheet was chillingly placed over a student lying on the ground.
To send the message home, Cynthia Pinter and her granddaughter Alexxa Pinter shared the story of the loss of their family member. In 2006, Alexxa Pinter, her dad and 8-year-old sister Summer Pinter were hit by a drunk driver in Alliance. Summer Pinter did not survive.
“I don’t know what it’s like to wake and walk down the stairs and drive her to school with me every morning. I don’t know what it’s like for her to come home from school and be so excited, she got an A on her report card,” said Alexxa Pinter. “It’s something I’m trying to live with, but I don’t want somebody else to go through that same thing.”
The message hit home with many students, including Logan Foster from East Palestine High School.
“It was not that it was something that wasn’t real, it was just imagining me and my friends that really hit me,” said Foster.
Nine Columbiana high schools participated in the program.