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Mock crash gives hard-hitting lesson

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A mock crash event scheduled for Wednesday, April 27, may look like the real thing, but it's only a drill.

With high school proms happening April 30 and end-of-school-year celebrations a month away, local EMS, fire, police and state troopers will conduct a mock crash event. Typically held every other year, the event is intended to send a hard-hitting message to students of the dangers and consequences of unsafe driving behaviors, including drinking or doing drugs and driving, driving while distracted, driving at unsafe speeds, and not buckling up. The mock crash will use actual crashed vehicles, set up at Hotchkiss High School, with students acting out the roles as crash victims.

The drill may also include a Flight for Life helicopter.

The crash scene will depict high school students who make the choice to party after graduation and attempt to drive home in the early morning hours. The choice leads to life-threatening injuries and death. When students see their friends and peers carried away in body bags and another being handcuffed and taken to jail, it can send a strong message.

"We are doing a combined crash program this year for both Hotchkiss and Paonia high schools," said event coordinator Kris Stewart. "There will be an estimated 350 students and staff and faculty in attendance. Our mission is simple: If we change the mind of even one student then we have saved a life. One DUI crash involving students is one too many."

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