Blood dripped down the arm of a teen who was hanging through the broken windshield of a car that had apparently crashed head-on with a Jeep Grand Cherokee in the parking lot of Wednesday.
The blood was not real and neither was the accident, but it looked real and high school administrators, local police, EMS and fire officials wanted the experience to feel real for the high school students who attended a surprise assembly Wednesday to see the real-life potential consequences of an alcohol-related crash.
Student actors Heidi Avrov, John Kaplan and Jamie Schwartz portrayed being in a vehicle with a driver who had had a couple of drinks before getting behind the wheel and crashing with a Jeep being driven by a mother and her 9-year-old and 13-year-old children. One of the actors who was in the vehicle with the alleged drunk driver was positioned through the windshield and did not move the entire time, covered in blood. Later in the scene, a real medical examiner arrived and pronounced him dead. He was blanketed with a white sheet, identified by a woman acting as his mother, and transported off of the school grounds by a hearse from the , of Parsippany.
The top of the Jeep was ripped off by firefighters using the Jaws of Life tool and a medevac helicopter landed on the high school field as if to transport one of the alleged victims who were transported into ambulances on the scene.
Other school clubs assisted in the event as well, including the film club producing a video edited by students Nicholas Golowko and Dustin Tan.
The assembly, which was held for the first time in three years at the high school, according to Principal Douglas Sanford, was made possible in conjunction with the Drug Awareness Council, Parent Teacher Association, , , , , Mobile Intensive Care Unit, Hackensack University Medical Center Aviation Unit and Morris County Prosecutor's Office Assistant Prosecutor Kelley Lavery also attended and spoke at the assembly, sharing real stories of drivers who affected not only their lives but the lives of their loved ones as well when they got behind the wheel after having as little as one drink.
"If you get behind the wheel of the car and you shouldn't, you have to accept what takes place," he said.
Lavery told the students that what they saw Wednesday would not be considered an "accident," rather it would be considered a "crash," and the penalty for the driver would be up to ten years in prison.
Montville police Lt. David Peterson told the students to remember what they learned as they are about to attend prom and other end-of-school-year activities.
"What you saw here was not an accident. This was preventable," he said. "We're just trying to educate you on drinking and driving."
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