Mock car crash teaches stu­dents real les­son

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JES­SICA IAN­NETTA

jian­netta@ce­cil­whig.com

— The car crash that oc­curred out­side North East High School last week wasn’t real. But the lessons it taught the school’s stu­dents def­i­nitely were.

With the school’s prom week­end com­ing up, An­drea Nickle, a se­nior at NEHS, or-

NORTH EAST

ga­nized the mock car crash as a way to show stu­dents the dan­gers of dis­tracted driv­ing. Six­teen stu­dents walked around the school on Wed­nes­day with their faces made up to look like they’d been in a car wreck and signs hang­ing around their necks de­scrib­ing how they “died,” Nickle said.

The sto­ries in­cluded

all types of dis­tracted driv­ing in­clud­ing driv­ing drunk, driv­ing with­out a seat­belt, dis­tract­ing pas­sen­gers and tex­ting while driv­ing, she added.

The stu­dents weren’t al­lowed to speak and could only point to the signs around their necks if peo­ple asked ques­tions, Nickle said.

“Peo­ple were very scared of how re­al­is­tic the makeup looked,” she said, not­ing that many peo­ple ini­tially thought the ac­ci­dent had been real.

Nickle also set up a ta­ble in the cafe­te­ria dur­ing lunch where stu­dents could try on drunk gog­gles and sign a pledge promis­ing not to use al­co­hol or drugs dur­ing prom week­end. Th­ese pledges were later formed into a pa­per chain that was draped over a wrecked car do­nated by a lo­cal junk­yard that sat in front of the school, Nickle said.

NEHS has done sim­i­lar mock car crashes in the past but hasn’t had one in a few years be­cause no one stepped up to or­ga­nize it. Nickle de­cided to bring the event back af­ter one of her friend’s nearly over­dosed a few weeks ago. Her friend re­cov­ered, but the in­ci­dent in­spired Nickle to raise aware­ness about the dan­gers of al­co­hol and drugs, she said.

“It’s prom night so there’s bound to be at least one drunk driver and I didn’t want it to be a se­nior who is go­ing to miss grad­u­a­tion,” she said.

So about two weeks ago, Nickle, who is trea­surer of the se­nior class coun­cil, brought the idea to the club’s ad­vi­sor. Af­ter re­ceiv­ing per­mis­sion from the prin­ci­pal, she started writ­ing the 16 sto­ries and re­cruit­ing peo­ple to play the roles.

Stu­dents re­ally seemed to get the mes­sage, Nickle said, and she en­cour­aged oth­ers school to hold sim­i­lar events.

“If you’re driv­ing drunk, you’re hurt­ing more than just your­self,” she said.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF AN­DREA NICKLE

An­drea Nickle and Kylie Alexander, se­niors at NEHS, dressed up as dis­tracted driv­ing vic­tims to raise aware­ness be­fore prom.

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