As prom season and celebratory end of year events approach, Columbia High School students saw firsthand the tragic consequences of driving while impaired during a Mock DWI event on Friday morning on the school campus.
All Columbia seniors and juniors attended the event which featured a simulated car crash with students acting as the victims, the individual who caused the accident, and bystanders.
During the simulated accident, emergency responders arrived on the scene, treated victims and loaded them into an ambulance and a NYS Police helicopter, which landed on campus. Police conducted a field sobriety test on one of the drivers who was then taken into custody. One victim was put into a body bag and loaded into a hearse. (All student volunteers had parent permission to participate in the activity.)
“It was a little scary seeing the possibilities of what could happen,” said Teagan Kreshik ’24 who acted as one of the victims during the activity. “I think it was eye-opening to a lot of students and got the message across.”
Following the simulated accident scene, students returned to the school auditorium where a presentation was led by Rensselaer County District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly.
“This is a great time to have conversations about making plans to be safe while celebrating and how ‘One Second’ is all it takes to destroy lives,” said Columbia School Resource Officer Ed Ashley, who is a police officer with the East Greenbush Police Department. “We hope this leaves everyone with a better understanding of the consequences of destructive decisions and ultimately saves lives.”
The East Greenbush Police Department, East Greenbush Fire Department, Bruen Rescue Squad, New York State Police, Albany Medical Center and Rockefeller Funeral Home all participated in the safety exercise.
“I can’t thank Officer Ed Ashley and District Attorney May Pat Donnelly enough for such an impactful event,” said Columbia Principal Michael Harkin. “The students saw firsthand the potential consequences for making one bad decision. This will hopefully allow our students to have a safe and enjoyable prom and graduation.”
Junior Prom was held the day after the Mock DWI event, Senior Prom will be on June 2 and the Columbia Class of 2023 Graduation ceremony is scheduled for June 24.
Special thanks to Officer Ashley, the emergency responders, SADD Club and all of the volunteers!
Columbia High School hosted a Mock DWI event on Friday morning to show juniors and seniors the consequences of driving under the influence.
Emergency responders staged a simulated car accident with students acting as victims and bystanders. @Columbia_HS_BD pic.twitter.com/yvCE5H3e6f
— East Greenbush CSD (@EGreenbushCSD) May 22, 2023