Hannibal students saw first-hand the dangers of drinking and driving at a recent mock DWI demonstration at the Hannibal High School.
Hannibal juniors and seniors played the parts of drivers and victims involved in a head-on collision.
The event is intended to educate the Hannibal audience on the realities of poor driving decisions and encourage them to make good choices during prom season.
Ben Harroll played the role of the drunk driver responsible for the crash.
Of all the victims involved, his injuries were the least severe, which is common among DWI accidents.
The first officers arriving to the scene determined how many people there were in the accident, what their conditions were and notified appropriate resources.
However, their main job was to find out what caused the accident.
Harroll was given a sobriety test and placed under arrest for driving under the influence.
Austin Baker was flung through the windshield of one vehicle during the collision and lost a part of his leg.
The driver of his vehicle, Olivia Cacchione, was killed upon impact.
Makeup and wounds were done by Oswego County STOP DWI.
Ambulances, firemen, EMTs, the Oswego County coroner and more all arrived on the scene to offer their services.
The firemen covered the victims with blankets as they cut through the vehicle, to avoid further injuries.
Kathy McPherson, an investigator with the DA’s office, narrated the scenario as it played out. She informed the audience that the one thing they would not see in the demonstration was the onlookers that would normally have stopped to take pictures.
She cautioned that texting, calling or posting on social media was one of the worst things a person can do, as it can cause panic for the friends and families of the victims.
Cacchione was carefully placed in a body bag. One of the medical personnel knelt beside her and said a prayer before she was loaded into a hearse for transport.
“Even though the officers may have done this dozens of times, they are still moved by the loss,” said McPherson. “This was a loss that could have been prevented.”
The students were then led to the high school auditorium where they saw an officer inform the mother of Cacchione of her daughter’s death.
“No, she just called me. She is on her way home,” said the teacher who played the part of the mother. “She’s going to be home any minute. She was just with her friends!”
After the theoretical funeral, Robert Lighthall from Oswego County DWI talked to the students about the importance of having a plan for prom so situations like the one they just saw can be avoided.
“This extremely emotional experience showed me the possible consequences of drinking and driving and will definitely influence my future behavior,” said Hannibal Junior Courtney Battist.