It was a heartbreaking scene outside École secondaire Neelin High School on Thursday morning when Grade 11 student Dayton Black wrapped his car around a tree in an impaired driving accident, killing two students and injuring another — luckily, it was only a mock crash.
The crash was co-ordinated for Neelin students by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Youth co-ordinator Sheena Hooke said that with graduation season coming up, she hopes to send a message to the senior students about the perils of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
"We understand (they) want to party, but we want to make smart, safe decisions," Hooke said.
Black and the other students sported fake blood and wounds. They laid motionless on the hood of the car, and the ground while students were guided outside to watch. Police arrived on scene and Black was arrested for impaired driving, while passengers were attended to by EMS and firefighters. One student trapped in the car was rescued by the jaws of life, while two others were pronounced dead at the scene and covered by white sheets as the rest of the Neelin students looked on.
"If even one student decides at a party that they’re not going to drink and drive, or that they’re going to stop a friend from getting behind the wheel, that would be our goal," Hooke said.
As part of the scenario, Black was drinking the evening before. The object of the display was to not only show students the reality of drinking and driving, but to remind them that a couple hours of sleep isn’t always enough to safely get behind the wheel.
"We wanted to show all the other students what can come from drinking and driving," Black said. "Even if it’s been a day since."
Kaiden Poirier, a Grade 11 student-spectator, said it’s important to show the reality of drunk driving in an educational way.
"I hope we get a better awareness for what could happen," he said.
Educational assistant Tressa Bodkin said it’s important for the students to visualize the consequences of making a bad choice.
"I want them to take away that there’s never a good moment to get in a vehicle with someone who has been drinking," Bodkin said.
» The Brandon Sun