Mock Crash Leaves Impact on Students in Salisbury - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Mock Crash Leaves Impact on Students in Salisbury

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SALISBURY, Md.- Driving under the influence of alcohol can have serious, sometimes deadly consequences. As prom season approaches, state and local law enforcement officials are raising awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and not wearing a seat belt.  A mock crash was hosted at Wicomico High School Thursday.

The demonstration started with emergency responders, from the Salisbury Fire Department, who rushed to the scene of the crash that was set up in the  parking lot at the high school. The scene depicted two cars that crashed head-on. Two students, donned in formal wear and covered in make-believe cuts and bruises, were inside of each vehicle. 

Hundreds of students from Mardela and Wicomico High Schools stood behind  orange cones watching the dramatic scene unfold. A narration of every step involved when responding to a crash was announced on loud speakers. A scripted 911 call was part of it.

The Maryland Highway Safety Office and the Wicomico Highway Safety Task Force hosted the event. Other agencies, including the Salisbury Police and Fire Department, Maryland State Police and the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office participated in the event.

Maryland State Police landed its helicopter on the scene of the "crash" that left one student "dead", two "injured" and another teen"arrested". Again, this was part of the demonstration. 

Janelle Stevenson, a junior at Wicomico High, played a victim in the crash that left an impact on her.

 "It's definitely real," Stevenson said. "It's sad to know stuff like this happens all the time." 

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D), car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers, and a quarter of the crashes involve underage drinking. 

Athletic Director Stosh Schtierman said the mock crash is held at Wicomico High School every year around prom time, and the message  to drive responsibly gets across.

"We try to stress that this is beyond prom, this is beyond graduation; this is everyday for the rest of your life,"  Schtierman  said.

Shanay Wharton, a senior at the high school, was one of several hundred students who watched the scene unfold. She said she thinks the demonstration would make people think twice about drinking and driving.

"You might have been lucky the first few times, but it really can take your life," Wharton said.

Other students like Jabredee Pree, also a senior at the school, described the most shocking part about Thursday's harsh reality.

"The part that got me was when they brought the dead body out and the hearse came," she said. The hearse was provided by Holloway Funeral Home in Salisbury. 

"There is no getting your life back," she said.

Students filed into the school auditorium after the demonstration. Wicomico Sheriff Mike Lewis and other officials spoke about the impact, of responding to so many crashes over the years, on their lives.


Suzanne Elzey was also a speaker. Elzey lost her son in a crash that happened on Kent Island. He was just 19-years-old and a volunteer firefighter. She shared her story with the students and spoke about the effect on her life.

"It's not like grief ends, you grieve as long as you live because your love continues for your child and it's excruciating," she said. She hopes her story will help students realize that crashes, involving underage drinking, are preventable.


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