Some area high school students are late to their prom.
Together in a car, they’re distracted, drinking beers — including the teen driver — and racing too fast until the vehicle crashes into a giant dumpster tossing one girl fatally through the back window.
Others are covered in blood, screaming and crying. Ambulances arrive, followed minutes later by a medical helicopter landing near the school.
Looking on are hundreds of Edgewood High School students because the entire scenario is a mock crash demonstration but for some students their emotional reaction is real.
That’s the point, said Russ Fussnecker, superintendent of Edgewood Schools.
“We feel that an activity such as the mock crash brings an element of reality to the dangers that can take place with distracted driving and/or driving impaired,” Fussnecker said.
COVID-19′s onset in 2020 canceled area proms. Last year saw them return with some safety restrictions and this school year the traditional spring prom is back for local high schools.
Edgewood high school’s 1,200 students will have their prom tonight.
School officials said it was important to bring back the mock crash demonstration — after a couple of years without it — to remind students of the potential dangers that come with the annual event.
“The safety of our students is always paramount and the tragedy of actual student car accidents has affected almost all area districts and we are no exception,” said Fussnecker, a former Edgewood High School principal.
“Therefore, we wanted to bring this event back to Edgewood to increase student awareness of those dangers and potential results of unsafe driving decisions.”
It was a community wide effort with local Trenton Fire and EMS crews, Butler County Sheriff deputies, MedFlight helicopter and even a hearse from an area funeral home.
Edgewood theatre students done up in fake blood stains on torn formal prom wear, lent even more realism to the demonstration. Screams of pain and pleas for help as they were trapped in the already crumbled, mock crash vehicle towed onto school grounds, keep the student crowd watching with riveted attention.
“It’s really eye opening,” said Edgewood senior Chelsey Brown.
“As teenagers, obviously, people do bad things that they shouldn’t and this is a good experience to show why you shouldn’t do those things,” said Brown.
Classmates, she said, “should get the message from it.”
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