Mock car crash teaches students real lesson
— 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-
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.
Andrea Nickle and Kylie Alexander, seniors at NEHS, dressed up as distracted driving victims to raise awareness before prom.