Students speak about mock crash program

Two seniors from Williamsport Area High School shared the efforts of five students to portray a mock DUI crash scene for about 1,500 students with the DUI Advisory Council at their June 4 meeting.

The program runs every three years and works to prevent DUI crashes in the area as well as raise awareness to drug use and drug overdoses.

The efforts included a number of performances according to Marie Fox, program coordinator from Williamsport Area High School, including a mock DUI crash that kills a victim, drug overdoses at parties, a mock funeral and morgue demonstration.

In past years, the students performed the mock crash in the parking lot, said Fox. “This year, we had the cars placed in the road and filmed the actual crash. The whole project is two and a half hours long. We have live speakers, a gentleman who actually killed someone and our principal who was hit by a drunk driver,” she said

“1,500 students in an auditorium saw the whole thing play out from the time of the crash, the DUI, the party, and a person that overdosed on drugs. The whole court procedure as well as the funeral and the identification of the deceased in the morgue, they saw all of that,” said Charles Kiessling, county coroner. “Hopefully it leaves an impact on these students who saw that to say, ‘hey, it’s not worth it.’ “

“The crash programs raise awareness for the students about the hazards of their decisions — drinking and driving. We included the drug issue because there is so many, not just alcohol, bad decisions using other drugs like prescription drugs, illicit drugs like heroin, and all of those things that are killing people,” said Kiessling.

“It takes a lot of time, but it’s worth it. It’s something that every student should see and every person should be talking about. The impact is unbelievable,” said Fox.

Dr. David Bower, a member of the DUI Advisory Council, was at the school when the mock crash performance took place.

Bower said that it’s a program that every high school student in the country should see.

“You have to really see it to feel the impact of it,” said Bower.

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