Mock DUI Crash Scene Held At Clarion Area High School

(Above image: “injured” student being taken to ambulance)

The Clarion Area High School’s Youth Council hosted a mock DUI crash scene, at the North 3rd Avenue parking lot, on Thursday afternoon, April 28th. The whole program ran from about 12:30-2:30, with the crash scene taking place from 1:00-2:00.

The council worked closely with their advisor Mrs. Angela Magagnotti and local community members to develop the mock crash assembly for students in tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades, their concern: automobile accidents due to distracted driving, impaired drivers, poor road conditions, etc.

There was a lot of preliminary work at the scene. Mark’s Auto brought the vehicles to the scene requiring two trips on a flatbed on Wednesday afternoon. Then on Thursday morning at around 9:30, Chuck Bartley from Clarion Fire & Hose Company No 1, who helped organize and plan the event and fellow firefighters Mike Chestnut and Rich Herron, were on the scene preparing the vehicles and discussing where the different student actors would be situated.

(L-R: Chuck Bartley and Rich Herron prepping vehicle)
(L-R: Mike Chesterfield, Rich Herron and Chuck Bartley working out the “game plan”)

Art teacher Mrs. Caitlyn Lees and three of her senior students, Madison Kerr, Jennah Steiner and Natalie Cussins spent working on and applying makeup to the actors, Kade Philips, Kaegan Phillips, Philip Bartley, Aidan Quinn, Jordan Best and Aaliyah Dittman. 

(Actors in their places prior to the students making their way to the “scene”)

Youth Council President, Ryan Alston introduced Sergeant Shawn Fisher of the Pennsylvania State Police and Bureau of Liquor Enforcement. in the auditorium. Seargent Fisher shared the video, “The Cost of Two Beers” and talked to the students about the consequences and the price of driving under the influence.

Those in attendance then proceeded to the parking lot. Shortly after arriving there, they heard the sounds and saw the flashing lights from the various emergency vehicles (from Clarion Fire & Hose No. 1, Pennsylvania State Police, Clarion Borough Police, Clarion County Sherriff’s Department and the Clarion Hospital EMS) as they came down 3rd to the scene.

(Emergency vehicles proceeding down 3rd Avenue)
(and onto “crash scene”)

Mr. Dave Constantino shared with those gathered about what they were about to see, “This program is probably different from any other traffic safety program you have seen before. You are going to hear and see exactly what victims of a car crash would experience during and after the crash. This will occur in real time as it does in real situations. Fatal traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for young people in the United States.

(Mr. Constantino addressing students)

“Today, we are going to witness what takes place in a serious fatal traffic crash. This type of accident can occur anywhere in a city, on a country road, or on a busy interstate highway. What you see before you is the result of this type of crash. This is the last thing your parents want to hear on prom night.”

(Firefighters working at “the scene”)

The experience included seeing the various “students” being examined and treated, the jaws of life being incorporated, one student put on a backboard and transported by ambulance, one led to and taken away in a police cruiser.

(“Injured victim” being taken to the ambulance)

One of the “students” suffered fatal injuries. Clarion County Coroner Dan Shingledecker and his assistant Lexis Twentier arrived and with several emergency personnel, placed the “deceased victim” in a body bag and then he was transported to the Coroner’s vehicle.

(“Impaired driver” being placed in police cruiser)
(“Body” being loaded in Coroner’s vehicle)

Mr. Constantino had some final words re-emphasizing his earlier comments. And as the scene was cleared, the students moved back to the auditorium for closing comments.

Mrs. Magagnotti sends out a “Big thank you to Mr. Chuck Bartley for helping organize and plan the event and a HUGE overall thank you to all involved.”

A wonderful event designed to save lives.

(L-R: Clarion County Sherriff Shawn Zerfoss and Clarion Borough Police Chief William Peck)
(Employee from Mark’s Auto clearing vehicle from “scene”)