There were several injuries and one fatality in a drunken driving crash outside Clawson High School on Monday morning.
Thankfully, it wasn't real, but a mock presentation to show seniors the dangers of drunken driving. The mock scenario was timely because the school's prom is set for Thursday evening.
Eight Clawson firefighters, two Clawson police officers, Alliance Medical responders and Paul Gramer of Gramer Funeral Home collaborated to set up the mock crash scenario, which lasted about 30 minutes. Six Clawson students were the actors in the two-car collision.
"This is done to really kind of let the kids know that this is real," said Jim Horton of the Clawson Fire Department. "I think the kids took it to heart."
Horton's son, Jonathon Horton, acted as the driver of the vehicle that was hit by a drunk driver.
"It was kind of scary," said Jonathon Horton, who was transported from the scene on stretcher. "I think it's good for everyone to see this. It's something that happens a lot."
On a typical prom weekend, more than 5,000 teens are injured and 48 are killed every year in automobile crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thirty-six percent of those deaths are alcohol-related, the administration says.
The Clawson Student Senate and the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) group helped organize the event with middle school guidance counselor Amy Reaume.
Two previously damaged vehicles were set up in the school courtyard and students were exposed to how the aftermath would unfold. The fire department had to use the Jaws of Life to remove some of the students from the vehicle while Alliance used its emergency medical equipment to assist the injured students. Gramer brought a hearse to transport the one deceased student.
"If one kid walks away and takes something away from this, that could be one less child that makes a bad decision," Horton said.
Horton said organizers wanted to make the scene as realistic as possible, so they used makeup to paint injuries on the actors in the accident and even gave the drunken driver a sobriety test and arrested her. He said the high school puts on the mock drunken driving presentation every couple years, usually before the prom.