COPPERAS COVE — Juniors and seniors at Copperas Cove High School witnessed a grisly accident scene Wednesday morning as part of an effort to raise awareness about teenage drunken driving.
The school’s Peer Assistance and Leadership student organization staged a mock three-car accident on Avenue D, just outside the school, in the early morning hours.
“We call it ‘Shattered Dreams’ because every student has dreams and plans for the future,” said Alexus Blake, a CCHS junior and member of the PALs program. “We want to show what can happen to those dreams if you make the wrong choices.”
The school’s own students played the roles of the crash “victims,” complete with fake injuries and blood. Some were taken away by ambulance or airlifted by real emergency personnel who participated in the presentation; others were arrested by Copperas Cove police.
Some of them were “dead” at the scene, including the school’s newly crowned prom king and queen.
“We wanted to make it real to them,” Blake said. “We wanted them to see the most serious repercussions of drinking and driving.”
Officer William Hughes, the school’s security resource officer, said the law enforcement and emergency responder response to the mock accident was “99.9” percent accurate. Even though the accident, response and arrests were fake, Williams said many of the participating students became visibly shaken as they played out their roles.
“They joked around before, but once we started and they took it seriously, it really hit them,” Hughes said. “It’s a reality check for them.”
The mock-accident kicks off a three-day event aimed at educating high school teens on the consequences of drinking and driving. The students who “died” in the crash will be out of school for the next two days, and a mock memorial service will be held for them at the school Friday.
Contact Chris McGuinness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.