Montezuma-Cortez High School students on Friday witnessed a mock crash that stressed the dangers of drinking and driving.
The school’s prom was this weekend. Teachers told students to have a fun weekend, but also a safe one. They told students the word prom also stands for “Please Return on Monday.”
Drama students staged the crash in which a student “died.” After the crash, they headed to the gym and watched a mock sentencing hearing involving the “driver” who had been drinking before causing the death of a fellow student.
Montezuma District Court Judge Todd Plewe “sentenced” the driver to 10 years in prison. He said a vehicular homicide charge carried a sentence of 4-12 years in prison.
“This is a crime that society takes very seriously,” he told students.
They also heard from local resident Gary Harris, who was in a crash decades ago involving a drunken driver who left his wife and 16-month-old daughter with serious injuries.
Harris said the mock crash brought up some painful memories. He shared a personal story about the moments before, during and after the crash.
“This was only one night that a driver decided to drink and drive,” Harris said, explaining the tragic impact such a small decision can make. “There are more people than just you out on the highway.”
M-CHS fire science teacher Lori Mott dedicated the event to Harris and to the community of Moab, Utah. A post-prom crash on March 5 near Moab left two teenagers dead and three others injured.
“One choice can affect the rest of your life,” Mott said.
EMT Club President Brittany Hampton, a senior who acted in the demonstration, said the event was fun and effective.
“It went well,” she said. “I think people will stop and think more after watching this.”