Maria Kacik | The Gazette
GRANGER TWP. â€” A boy in his tux and a girl in her prom gown slumped behind the wheel of a crumpled sedan.
Their two friends â€” another couple supposedly on their way to prom â€” were trapped in the back seat.
Soon, an emergency helicopter would come for one, a body bag would come for two of them, and a police cruiser would come for the last â€” the driver who was drunk.
It was all a skit performed for juniors and seniors at Highland High School on Friday morning, the day before the schoolâ€™s senior prom â€” but there was nothing playful about it.
Highlandâ€™s Students Against Destructive Decisions arranged for several rescue squads and police agencies to come to the school to act out an accident caused by a drunken driver. Sharon, Granger and Hinckley township fire departments, the Medina County Sheriffâ€™s Office, Cleveland MetroParks rangers and University Hospitals MedEvac helicopter crew â€œrespondedâ€ to Fridayâ€™s crash.
Sheriffâ€™s Sgt. S.A. Schmoll narrated the events as the students looked on.
â€œWhat weâ€™re trying to tell you is your decisions affect more than just you. You have gotten older. You have more responsibilities. Youâ€™re driving a car, a two-ton automobile,â€ he told the students. â€œYou need to think what decisions youâ€™re going to make.â€
The skit was soon over. The helicopter returned the â€œinjuredâ€ student. The ones who â€œdiedâ€ were able to exit their body bags. And the one who was driving â€” who was â€œarrestedâ€ for operating a vehicle while under the influence â€” was released from his handcuffs.
â€œIt was an intense experience,â€ said the driver â€” Austin Zickler, a senior and a member of SADD. â€œIâ€™ve never had anything like that happen to me before. And I definitely would not want it to happen again.
Stacey Kraethin, a senior and also a member of SADD, spent about a half hour in a body bag as one of the two victims who were â€œkilledâ€ in the crash.
â€œIt was definitely a scary experience because you donâ€™t know if thatâ€™s ever going to happen to you,â€ she said.
Contact Maria Kacik at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.