BATH, N.Y. - The clock is ticking for prom night and so is the increased risks for drunk-driving crashes.
Steuben County officials, New York State Police, and Emergency Services showed local students how crashes from driving while intoxicated realistically unfold during a mock DWI crash at the Steuben County Fairgrounds.
Teenagers are no stranger to car accidents. According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Association, the United States saw 3,255 teen drivers involved in fatal car crashes in 2017.
Criminal justice students at Greater Southern Tier BOCES played the parts as victims and the drunk driver.
Elaina Cornell, one of the students, portrayed the driver of a vehicle in which both passengers died after a drunk driver crashed into them.
"In a split second, everything could be taken away from them, you have to make good decisions," Cornell said. "Especially with prom coming, it definitely shows students that this is what could happen to them, this could be real life for them."
This was the sixth year that the Bath Volunteer Ambulance Corps. planned the event.
But every year, they hope to send the same important message to graduating students.
"We do it to prevent scenes like this," Carole Tombs, acting President of Bath Ambulance as well as a nurse and critical care paramedic for American Medical Response in Corning, said. "Unfortunately, we've been to multiple scenes like this in the twenty plus years that I have been doing this and it never ends well for anybody involved."
"To reach one kid to show that drinking and driving can ruin your life for the rest of your life is very important to me," Sean Walruth, an EMT at Bath Ambulance and Assistant Chief at the Bath Volunteer Fire Department said.
It's frequent to hear the words, "Don't drink and drive," but to see the consequences first hand struck a different chord with these students.
"We’re always told not to drink and drive, and that’s something I’ve always known not to do, but when you really see what can happen and that those people could be your friends or even yourself, it's really powerful," Brianna Sinsebox, a student at Bath Haverling High School, said.
Other students hope the mock scene will never become familiar to classmates.
"A lot can change in just like a split second and we all have to be smart and I hope no one ever experiences this situation," Kambree Calkins, another student at Bath Haverling High School, said.
For many graduating students, prom and graduation are times to celebrate the start of a new chapter in their lives. It's important to remember to enjoy the precious moments responsibly and do not drink and drive.
"Going out and drinking and driving...the fun you may have isn't worth what could possibly happen," Sinsebox said.
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