For many students in the Valley, the end of school is right around the corner and for many high school seniors, that means prom and graduation are coming up too.
With that in mind, students at Stuarts Draft High School got a sobering and graphic reminder Wednesday of what can happen if they drink and then get behind the wheel of a car through a simulated drunk-driving crash at the school's stadium.
The message of Don't Drink and Drive is one the students have heard before, but that message is also being reinforced through a campaign called A Letter Is Better this year.
Through that campaign, students at Stuarts Draft Elementary School are writing the graduating seniors congratulatory letters that also include a plea for them to be safe behind the wheel.
Chris Winfield, a second-grader, writes, "Please, please, please do not drink or drive. Do not text or drive, buckle your seat belt and drive safe."
Juniors and seniors also got to see first hand just what would happen if they didn't heed that message when four of their classmates were involved in the mock drunk-driving collision.
Administrators tried to make the event as real as possible, with police, fire and rescue crews responding to the scene.
Of the four students, two were whisked away by ambulance with severe injuries, another student died in the collision and the student who caused the crash by driving drunk was arrested.
As the students watched the scene unfold at the school, they also reflected on the message the elementary school students had for them.
Kaleb Tillson, who played one of the injured students, says "They're just trying to look out for us and say basically that they care about us because they are looking up to us and they don't want anything bad to happen to us."
Timmy Mawyer, a senior, adds, "You don't think about it. It's usually just people your age and older people, but then when you realize it's starting to affect younger children and you know it makes a huge impact because coming from a young person like that it's pretty intense."
As the seniors at Stuarts Draft High School prepare for prom and graduation, Winfield has one final message for them
He writes, "P.S. Congratulations!!!"
All the seniors at Stuarts Draft High will get the letters from the A Letter Is Better campaign shortly before graduation.
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