UNION CITY, Ohio — In order for the students at Mississinawa Valley (M-V) High School to be safe for prom Friday night, a mock crash was conducted at the school Thursday morning to warn them what could happen if things should go awry.
Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), under the direction of Ashley Austerman and Tricia Seuert at M-V, sponsored the annual event, which featured the re-enactment of a car crash as well as some words from those who know of people who have made destructive decisions.
In the mock crash, a car driven by Addison Spitler, struck head-on another vehicle driven by Trenton Perkins, who had a passenger, Paxton Scholl in a realistic crash scene. Perkins and Scholl were injured; with Perkins taken via CareFlight and Scholl taken from the scene in an ambulance. A passenger in “drunk driver” Addison’s car, Matt Slyder “died” as a result of the collision.
Students Trinity Konwiczka and Nicole Yount were the 911 callers. Other SADD members were involved in set-up/ clean-up and videos.
“The scenario for the crash was the one student ‘trusted’ Addison (the drunk driver) to drive home and they had the head-on collision with the ‘innocent victims’ in the other car,” said Seuert.
The drill enabled the student body to see what can happen in the event of a crash as well as be educated about the consequences of drinking and driving.
Taking part in that portion of the mock crash were Union City, Ohio, Fire and Rescue, Darke County Sheriff and Oliver-Floyd Funeral Home as well as the coroner’s office. Also participating were the actual parents of the role-playing injured, including Jeff and Julia Slyder and T.J. and Angie Perkins, as well as a couple of students who were “first on the scene” of the mock accident.
Mandy Via, outreach manager and flight nurse for CareFlight, was also there and explained what was going on in the drill. Other CareFlight officials arrived when the mobile medical unit landed on the nearby football field.
After CareFlight left, the program went inside to the old gym.
As people entered the gym, they were handed funeral cards which featured the “obituary” of the deceased, Matt Slyder, and his body was brought into the gym by Oliver-Floyd Funeral Home employees [Eric Fee, Debbie Summers and Jack Kerns] with Slyder inside the casket. A eulogy was even given by M-V Principal Jeff Winchester.
“Tomorrow night is the prom,” Winchester said. “If what happened today happens then, it will have an impact on everyone in here and in the community for not just this weekend but for weekends after.”
Two speakers enabled those in attendance to hear about how moving real-life incidences affected them.
Laura Seger talked about how her 18-year-old son, Joey, was killed Sept. 21, 2010, after the pick-up truck in which he and his father, Ron, were riding, was struck by a vehicle driven by a woman whom she claimed was driving high after huffing a container of canned air. Husband Ron sustained neck injuries and is now disabled.
Thirteen-year-old Josie Deaton, a student at M-V, talked about her sister, Christin M. Deaton, 25, who lost her life in an accident on Jan. 22, 2014. She was a passenger in a vehicle driven by her 27-year-old boyfriend, who drove off the right side of the road, struck a guardrail end that was on a bridge. The boyfriend, Josie said, was under the influence of several narcotics. More about this story will appear in an upcoming edition of The Daily Advocate.
Jay Pearson of the Darke County Coroner’s Office also spoke in brief.
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