GREENVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – Prom season kicks off Friday night, and many teenagers from schools across the Valley will be out on the roads driving.
Students and law enforcement are working together to make sure everyone has a good time without alcohol.
Greenville High School is one that will celebrate prom this weekend. Sophomore Tyler Hunt organized a mock crash Friday at the school to send a message to students about the dangers of drinking and driving.
“A passenger was ejected out of the vehicle and was dead,” said Hunt. “Most kids don’t have the opportunity to see a car crash in person unless they are in one.”
Colin Kytchak was the only senior participating in the mock crash. He knows first-hand how tragic real car crashes can be.
“I had close friends who passed away in car accidents,” said Kytchak. “For me, this is already too real.”
Statistics show teens are most at risk of being in a car accident during this time of year, but Sergeant John Allsop with the Boardman Police Department is starting to see a change in underage drinking.
“We’ve made great strides in the past 20 years. Statistics show that underage drinking is down about 50 percent,” said Allsop. “The flip side of that is car crashes are still the leading cause of death for teens here.”
Boardman police will have extra patrols out Friday night in an effort to keep prom-goers safe. Allsop said there will be twice as many units on the roads this weekend.
The Department received a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the program that runs over the next couple of weeks.
Students like those presenting the mock crash are grateful for the extra police presence while they celebrate.
“I would definitely like to see all my friends at school on Monday,” said Kytchak.
It’s not just teens heading to prom that will be on the radar of local law enforcement. They will also be on the lookout for parents who host parties where alcohol is served.