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APW Students Witness a MOCK DWI Crash Presentation Prior to Prom

Every other year, prior to prom, the Student Government of Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Jr./Sr. High School sponsors a Mock DWI vehicle crash scenario that conveys a powerful message to students regarding the horrors of poor driving decisions.

The scene was set up on County Route 22 between the APW Jr. /Sr. High School and Elementary School on June 3 at 10:20 a.m. Members of the school’s Student Government played the roles of drivers and victims with makeup and replica wounds done by Oswego County Stop DWI.

In this setup, one vehicle “driven” by Autumn Baum contained herself and three friends (Lilly Sweeney, Holly Meagher and Miranda Hamilton) that had stayed the night at a friend's house and were heading to school early the following morning. The other vehicle was "driven" by Rachael Miller, who drank alcohol and smoked marijuana at a party the same evening. When Miller left the party with a friend (Kassidy Fisher) early the next morning, her vehicle first struck a pair of pedestrians (Allisyn Scott and Alayna Ruffos) and then collided head-on with Baum’s vehicle.

With every effort toward mimicking a real accident, local law enforcement, medical personnel, firefighters and emergency personnel responded to the scene. They began working on the victims and assessing the situation as they simulated a field sobriety test, initiated an arrest, contacted the Oswego County Coroner/District Attorney Greg Oakes, and provided a glimpse into the legal process.

"When something like this happens to a student in your school, it changes the entire class," said Robert Lighthall from Oswego County Stop DWI. He stressed how crucial it is to have a plan for prom, and events like prom, because the consequences of one bad decision could be fatal.

The presentation moved from the outdoor crash scene into the auditorium, where students witnessed a theoretical trial and concluded with a funeral.

APW district personnel and staff said they hope the simulated crash was an eye-opening experience for the students that will help them to make safe driving choices in the future.