Mock DUI car crash deters prom attendees from driving drunk

By Brandon Gustafson | May 30, 2018
Photo by: Brandon Gustafson Firefighters working diligently to get access inside the crashed cars to get to victims who need help.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016, more than 10,000 people died due to drunk drivers, accounting for more than one fourth of all vehicle-related deaths in the U.S.

With prom this Friday, Kamiak teamed with the Mukilteo Police and Fire Departments to try to deter seniors from driving drunk, and from getting in the car with an impaired driver by staging their annual Mock DUI Car Crash on Thursday, May 24.

Seniors Joshua DeSanto, Diego Condit, Aidan Norris, Hailey Robinson, Abby Stumpf, Jenna Meyer, Mason Harrington, and Ally de la Cruz acted in the mock crash.

Kamiak grad Makenna Porter was the makeup artist who helped with touches like fake blood and glass shards in the actors’ skin, and Kamiak’s theater director Bryan Sullivan helped the actors leading up to the fake crash.

Kamiak assistant principal Kimberly Jensen was thankful for Allen Campbell of Best Auto in Woodinville who coordinated getting the cars for the crash, and for Woody’s Towing of Lynnwood for providing the cars and towing.

Two crashed cars were staged, and the actors then came out of the cars, acting out the immediate moments after a DUI crash.

Glass was scattered, an alcoholic beverage emerged from one of the vehicles, and emotions were high as three people died in the mock crash.

Police officers arrived first, surveying the scene and performing a field sobriety test on Condit, the impaired driver.

Members of the Mukilteo Fire Department quickly arrived at the scene, sirens blaring en route, and went to work.

Firefighters used tools such as motorized saws in order to break doors off to get to those still trapped in the cars, and also administered CPR unsuccessfully to one of the passengers.

After the dramatization, the seniors filed into the gym, where they were presented with more information in hopes of making sure students don’t drive drunk on prom night.

Mukilteo Fire Captain Steve Potts told students about a drunk driving incident on Chennault Beach Road that resulted in two people dying.

“It’s not something we can just say. ‘Hey, this is drama, we don’t really care, we just want to have fun and games,’ because real people live and real people die in these accidents,” he said.

Potts said for first responders, it’s particularly difficult workwhen kids are hurt or killed.

“When we have young kids involved, it’s emotional for everybody,” he said. “We all have kids, we’ve all been your age, and when we arrive, we know that somebody’s parents are going to get this phone call.”

Mukilteo PD’s Myron Travis also spoke at the assembly, saying the main goal of driving should be to “drive to arrive alive.”

“Here’s the thing, when you go to that house to pick up that young lady or that young man, those parents aren’t anticipating going to the morgue after entrusting you with the lives of their young ones,” Travis said. “Unfortunately, what you just saw is too real to too many people. It’s anticipated there’s going to be 300 (DUI-related) deaths during prom season.”

Travis told the students that reaction time gets much worse when intoxicated, and inebriated drivers can’t properly react to something like a driver in front of them braking to a stop.

“If you’re intoxicated, how are you going to be in control of a vehicle when you can’t be in control of your motor skills?” he said. “You’re entrusted with the lives of not just the people in your vehicle, but the people you’re on the road with. And nobody’s trying to have you judge whether or not somebody has a right to live because you’re on the road with them.”

Snohomish County Target Zero’s Stacey McShane shared two personal stories to the students about the impacts of drunk driving.

McShane worked as a dispatcher for a long time, and one night she saw an incident appear on her computer screen that was close to where she lived, and later discovered one of her neighbors was involved in a DUI-related crash when her boyfriend was driving her home while drunk. The neighbor was initially pronounced dead.

“About an hour later, they went to cut her body of the car … and she moved. She was actually still alive, barely,” McShane said.

McShane said the girl broke nearly every bone in her body and had to go through a grueling rehabilitation process, and was terrified of getting into a car afterward. McShane actually picked up her neighbor from rehab one day and noticed something strange on her friend’s head six months after the crash.

“We’re driving and it’s a sunny day and I look over and there’s something shiny on her head and I said, ‘You have something on your face,’ so I reached over and brushed her forehead and it was sharp,” she said. “I was like, ‘Ouch that’s weird,’ and she said, ‘Oh, that’s glass, I’ve been picking glass out of my head for months, it’s working its way out.’”

McShane then showed a video about a group of teens that were injured and killed on a Washington highway after their car stalled. A drunk driver sideswiped the car, killing two and seriously injuring a third.

One of the victims was McShane’s cousin Nick. McShane said the driver went to jail for the accident, but has since gotten arrested for drunk driving again.

To close the assembly, State Farm’s Matt Martin spoke about how hard it is to get insurance after getting arrested for drunk driving, and how it’s illegal to drive without insurance, making life much more difficult.

Kamiak’s prom is this Friday, June 1, and seniors graduate on June 15.

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