ROCKINGHAM COUNTY -- Students at East Rockingham High School heard loud sirens when they walked out of class and into a mock DUI crash outside their school.
Alison Helmick, a senior at the high school, watched her classmates getting treated for injuries at the scene, just like in a real car crash.
“Watching this today kind of made me think about prom a lot more seriously about drinking after prom and doing anything crazy after prom, because this could happen to anybody,” said Alison.
Organizers hoped students saw the damage on the car and understood the importance of staying safe on prom night.
Prom season has Rockingham County Fire and Rescue Lieutenant Keith Higgs motivated to keep students safe.
“We want kids to have fun on prom night, of course, but we also want them to be safe, and have them remember the fun times, not the bad times,” said Lt. Higgs.
Students watched as emergency crews arrested the man pretending to be responsible for the mock crash.
Jessica Meadows, another high school senior, hoped her classmates understood how serious this situation could have been.
“It makes everything more realistic, and you realize that anybody can get hurt in any situation like this at any time,” said Meadows.
Members of the rescue team wanted the scene to send a message to students, that this could happen to anyone.
“Just seeing our actual classmates out there just kind of made it more real,” said Helmick.
Lt. Higgs said it's worth it to stage an elaborate re-enactment to get a simple message across.
“Be smart. Don't drink, and don't drive,” said Lt. Higgs.
The Elkton Volunteer Fire Department helped with the mock crash and that keeps costs of the mock crash low.
Organizers of the event said using a helicopter at a scene like that one can cost nearly $15,000 in a real crash.
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