By Michael O’Brien
Special to the Voice
On April 20, West Haven High School Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) performed a mock car crash to educate students on the dangers of drunk driving ahead of prom season, and to remind them how poor choices regarding drugs and alcohol can alter their lives and not only affect themselves, but their friends, family, and the community as a whole.
The demonstration included actor portrayals of parents and students, simulated injuries and death, damaged vehicles with extrication tools used by firefighters, mock arrests, and ambulance and hearse transports.
“I think it’s important to get the word out because, obviously, drunk driving is not okay at all,” said WHHS senior Emily Whelan. “It shouldn’t be anything of the sort, so I think it’s important to show what can happen and what it’s like.” Whelan played a girl trapped in the back seat and suffered a terrible leg injury, losing her scholarship to play soccer at UConn.
In order to perform the demonstration, WHHS had help from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the West Haven Fire Department, the West Haven Police Department, West Haven ERS, West Haven City Hall, Bruneau’s Garage, American Medical Response, and the West Haven Funeral Home.
“The biggest thing with this mock car crash is that one kid remembers one part and it makes a difference to make a choice in their life,” said Jim Lafo, WHHS health and physical education teacher / SADD advisor. Lafo coordinated the mock crash.