SADD Club uses mock crash to show real-life trauma

PUNXSUTAWNEY — PAHS students got an eyeful Friday morning through the annual “Prom Promise” mock crash, sponsored by the school’s SADD Club.
Tpr. Bruce A. Morris, Ridgway-based Pennsylvania State Police community relations officer, said the simulated crash helps to illustrate the message of the dangers of drinking and driving.

Morris said many young people don’t understand what happens from the initial impact of a crash through possible dealings with the court system. The mock crash brings home as to how long it takes; how many people are involved; and the response time.

Morris said it sends the message that an accident scene is a pretty scary place.

Movies and TV programs don’t tell the entire story as a live event does, he said.

“To actually see it close to home — with people you know and not just the students that were involved with the crash — and knowing the people responding — whether it’s the fire department, the ambulance or police personnel — personalizes the event even more.”

Senior SADD member Devon Vallies said it also shows what can happen when someone is drinking and driving.

Vallies said that this year’s mock crash seemed more intense than previous events, as the student actors appeared to be more believable in their roles.

Bridget States, who co-advises SADD with Brigette Trusal, said the mock crash could not take place without the assistance of the members of the Punxsutawney Fire Department; Jefferson County EMS; Punxsutawney Borough Police, PSP-Punxsutawney/Ridgway; and Rebuck’s South Side Service Towing for providing the wrecked cars for the event and clean-up.

States said in her mind, the “Prom Promise” event must have some impact on students, citing vehicle crashes the weekend of prom are a rarity.