CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Around 500 students at James River High School learned the consequences of distracted driving during a crash demonstration Monday.
The realistic demonstration included a wrecked car, response from the fire department and police department, nurses in a trauma room and a helicopter.
Five students participated in the presentation, pretending to be the kids who were drinking and driving and who ultimately crashed. In this demonstration, four of the students died and one was seriously injured.
"Something like this I think is a big deal and I think people need to realize that this is something that can happen to you," said Taylor Bybee, a senior at James River High school who played one of the victims.
The demonstration was similar to an actual incident that happened over the weekend on Cold Harbor Road in Hanover. That crash killed a senior at Lee Davis High School, 17-year-old Dylan Ballard, and graduate Elliot Hinton. The vehicle they were in went off the road and into a tree just after 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Four other passengers were seriously wounded. The cause has not yet been determined.
Lt. Jason Elmore of the Chesterfield Fire Department and EMS said what happened in Hanover is why they participate in these crash demonstrations. He says if the demonstration gets through to at least one student, he's made a difference.
"As a parent, I can't imagine losing a child. That's why we think it's so important in the fire department to get this message out there so no family will have to deal with something like that," said Elmore.
Brent Vandell, a health and physical education teacher at the James River and organizer of this event, agrees.
"I can't save the world, but what I can try to do is make my little corner a bit better and see if we can get through to one or two kids," said Vandell.
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