A mangled silver car sat on the track and students narrated the accident as the Anniston Fire Department, Anniston Emergency Medical Services, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, a LifeSaver helicopter and a Chapel Hill Funeral Home hearse arrived at the scene. The mock accident was sponsored by the high school’s chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions, a club that promotes safe driving and non-risky behavior.
Allie Bobo, a Saks senior and SADD member, wore a purple prom dress smeared with fake blood. Bobo played a passenger in the car who suffered injuries during the accident that ultimately lead to her death at the scene.
Bobo said the skit made her more aware of the perils teen drivers face.
“Anyone can be hurt, anyone can be killed … I don’t want to text and drive. I don’t want to drink and drive. I want to be a safe driver. I don’t want to end up as a corpse,” Bobo said.
Dewayne Davis, science teacher and SADD director, felt that holding the event one week before prom would make students more aware of their actions.
“We wanted to simulate students on the way to prom and give them a real-life experience if they were in an accident,” Davis said.
Davis said the agencies involved volunteered their services and are considering expanding the event to other local high schools to make more Anniston students aware of the consequences of unsafe driving.
Lt. Johnnie Phelps of the Anniston Fire Department hopes that showing students what happens during an accident and describing it in vivid detail will deter more from occurring.
“The last thing I want to see is a drinking accident or non-seat belt or texting and driving,” Phelps said “If we can prevent any of that we’ll do this every year if we can.”
Linda Tilly, executive director of Voices for Alabama’s Children, said by phone Friday that 90 percent of teens have admitted to texting and driving. However, she said since Alabama instated the Graduated Driver License in 2010 the number of teen driving fatalities has decreased.
“We are doing better, but that still does not diminish the risk, particularly for prom night,” Tilly said.
Tilly said it’s important for parents to remind young drivers to limit the number of passengers in the car, always wear a seat belt and focus only on driving.
Staff Writer Rachael Griffin: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @RGriffin_Star.