By Lino Valletta, Staff Writer
With the annual senior prom and graduation season approaching quickly, it is important for seniors to remember that there are consequences for all their actions. It is definitely also important to have fun and enjoy yourself, but striking the appropriate balance between the two can be a difficult task for many soon – to – be graduates. As a means to that end, as shown in a demonstration by the local Chesterland Police, Fire and EMS Departments recently, there can be very serious consequences if young people wish to have too much fun and put their lives on the line.
The Chester Township first responders, along with some help from some West G students, demonstrated the seriousness of the results of getting behind a wheel while one is intoxicated. They set up two vehicles, staged in a position to resemble the result of a crash, and then the scene began to play out as the entire senior class stood by and watched. This perspective of driving while intoxicated hopefully solidified an image into each of these students’ minds that would prevent them from wanting to even try this for themselves. Senior Nicole Velazquez said, “I thought the mock accident really showed how dangerous being intoxicated while driving can be. It really made me understand how one mistake can drastically impact so many lives.”
It began with loud sirens blaring from everywhere and a driver stepped out of one of the cars with vomit on his clothes and a bottle of alcohol in his hand. The police immediately put the driver through a sobriety test and then handcuffed him, as it was clear he was impaired. The firetrucks soon came as the paramedics began to check all of the others who were involved in the collision. Senior Gregory Bullis was the “drunk driver” and said, “Being a part of the mock car accident was an interesting experience. It was actually really concerning to be handcuffed and questioned like I was. Even though it was just acting, it definitely showed me that I don’t want that to happen to me.”
The paramedics then began to saw off the top of the vehicle with the “jaws of life” as they wanted to prevent any further injury to the kids who were still alive. As they sawed off the top, they began to check pulses of all the bodies who were in the car and found that one girl did not have a pulse. She was soon after taken out of the car and covered in a white sheet. As the others were being checked for further injuries, the driver was cuffed and placed into the back of the police car, and the paramedics then began to extricate the remaining students from each vehicle.
As these students were placed on stretchers and brought to the ambulance, the girl who was covered by the sheet and pronounced “dead” had a voice recording that was played over the loudspeaker for all the seniors to hear. She began to speak and said, “Why me ? I was only 17 years old. My parents can’t see me like this, let me have one more chance!”
This is something that each and every senior needs to remember not only for the night of prom, but for the rest of his/her life. Young people might think that our actions are only affecting us, but this scenario demonstrates how we can affect a lot more people than we think. The lesson here is to also think about this poor girl’s family and what they have to go through, all because of one bad decision that cost her her life.
As we move forward to prom and into the next chapter of our lives, hopefully students will remember this story and all those who would be affected by one dumb decision. See more at: https://wgwhirlwind.org/1678/showcase/chance-of-victimization-improves-decisions/