OSWEGO – In a moment that seemed too real, a mock driving while intoxicated crash scene at Oswego High School brought attention to the dangers of drinking and driving.
Just a few days ahead of the recent OHS prom, the Oswego County Stop-DWI Program, along with the help of several OHS juniors and community emergency personnel, provided a visual of what may follow irresponsible decisions.
The mock scene involved a two-vehicle, head-on crash.
One driver portrayed to be in a drunken state as beer cans littered the pavement, while OHS junior Willow-Su Knapp played a deceased front passenger in the other vehicle.
“911, what’s your emergency?” were the words from a mock student witness that began a detailed, play-by-play account from Oswego Fire Department member Mark Kapuscinski on what happens in real life following a DWI crash.
While members of the Oswego Police Department interviewed the drunk driver, played by OHS junior Joan Carroll, additional police, fire and emergency services personnel flocked to the scene.
The entire junior class witness what it would be like watching a classmate being loaded into a hearse while others were extricated from the involved vehicles.
Students saw a community come together to do jobs they are prepared to do, but never want to have to see.
Robert Lighthall, Stop-DWI Coordinator, told the high school juniors they need to stop and think about the choices they make.
“Make a plan; know you’ll get home safely,” he said. “The goal is to make it to your graduation with no empty chair.”
Procedures following the mock DWI scene were reflective of criminal consequences of being reckless, as students were taken through the mock notification of next-of-kin, criminal proceedings of an arraignment and a funeral.
What resonated with several students the most was hearing a personal account from mother Melissa Gray, whose son, Brian DeLong, died because a drunk driver veered into him as he walked in the side of the road in October of 2005.
Brian saved his girlfriend by pushing her aside, but he didn’t make it.
Students wiped away tears, knowing Brian was an OHS senior at the time.
Also lending support during the event was Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow, who read a proclamation stating that May 18 to May 20, 2018 were Students Against Destructive Decisions days in Oswego.
He also encouraged students to support the work of the OHS SADD chapter.