PRYOR, OK — She’ll never get to wear her prom dress. She’ll never get a chance to dance at her senior prom with her friends. Instead, the last time her friends see her, she’s being zipped into a black body bag.
It may have been a mock wreck, but Pryor High School students were given a picture of a real-life situation. Pryor Police Department’s school resource officer, Jeremy Cantrell, organizes a mock wreck twice a year.
Cantrell said this time, between Spring Break, prom and graduation is when law enforcement sees the most wrecks caused by drunk drivers.
The event is meant to show students the danger in drunk driving. High school students looked on as student actors came on the scene, finding their friends bloodied, in mangled cars.
One by one the student “drunk drivers” were removed from the two vehicles. Handcuffs were placed on the shaking hands of the driver responsible for the wreck. Two passengers were extricated from the vehicle by fire departments using the jaws of life to free them from the totaled car. Another student actor assumed the role of a pregnant passenger, and was life-flighted from the scene. While sirens wailed and the helicopter took off, another passenger was zipped up in a body bag. The victim was taken away by Stephens Funeral Home.
Cantrell played audio from a similar, real-life wreck, driving the experience home.
“We do these things because we care about the students, we want them to be safe,” said Cantrell. “None of this is meant to scare them, but they need to know this is a very real probability if they choose to get behind the wheel drunk.”
Emergency responders are willing to lend a hand with the demonstration.
Pryor Police Department, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Pryor Fire Department, Mayes Emergency Service Trust Authority and Life Flight, say the scene is all too familiar for them.
“I hope they will stop and think before drinking and driving. I want them to understand that the consequences of drinking can effect them and the families of others for the rest of their lives if they chose to drink and drive,” said Cantrell.
The mock wreck leads into the Victim’s Impact Panel which follows the staged accident.