The Mountain Pointe High School student body witnessed a DUI mock crash on the school’s football field Friday in an effort to show the affects of drunk driving.
The DUI mock crash was a day before Mountain Pointe’s prom and was organized by the school’s Students Against Drunken Driving (SADD) members and faculty members.
Kelly Liebermann, engineer and paramedic for the Phoenix Fire Department, opened the hour-long presentation by speaking to students on the seriousness of drunk driving and how it should be avoided at all cost.
Various departments around Phoenix attributed to the DUI mock crash like the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the Phoenix police and fire departments, the Arizona SADD Chapter, St. Luke’s Hospital, the Office of Maricopa County Medical Examiners, and Western Towing.
“All these agencies came together to spread one message, which is to not drink and drive,” Liebermann said. “We have a lot of moving parts and specialists from every agency to advocate on behalf of what they do to really open up the perspective of these students to see a real-life simulation of what it looks like at a scene that develops.”
The real-life simulation that was shown to students was two cars mangled into each other, and actors from Mountain Pointe Theatre Company playing out the crash.
There was one student trapped inside of a car pleading for help, while another was laying on the field motionless after being ejected from the passenger seat.
The gruesome scene was meant to shed light on what could happen during a drunk driving accident, and for students to witness it first hand.
“It’s something that can’t be described with words, but something much greater when they can see it and hear it,” Liebermann said. “With this presentation there is an emotional impact. We are triggering a lot of different emotions from guilt, fear, sadness and anger.”
Phoenix police and fire departments arrived at the scene driving onto the football field, accessing the situation.
Liebermann said when Phoenix police and fire department officials arrive at a scene the main priority is the preservation of life and each second counts when trying to save a life.
Firefighters cut through the door, assisting the student trapped inside the car, and within seconds a helicopter landed on the field to take her to the nearest hospital.
Once the firefighters were done, Liebermann said to Mountain Pointe’s student body that the crash site was a homicide investigation because a person was killed.
Phoenix police officer Joe Bianchi said that the presentation was a way for students to realize it could happen to them.
“This is the closest we can get to happening to them personally. This is something that can happen here in Ahwatukee and Mountain Pointe, so we hope they absorb it that way,” Bianchi said.
The message seemed to hit home to students, such as senior Daniel Sullivan, who was not expecting such a real-life situation.
“It was really moving. A lot of times you tell kids to not drink and drive and to wear their seatbelts, but when you really see it and feel the emotion… I think it touched us all,” he said.
Principal Bruce Kipper said a lot of the students witnessed the reality of what drunk driving could cause.
“It’s the reality of no one is bullet proof and that they need to take every precaution they can to keep them and their friends safe.”
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