Students learn somber lesson with mock wreck

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 21, 2001

Students at Trinity Episcopal Day School got a taste of death Friday during a mock drill to discourage teen drinking.

Four students, including one who &uot;died&uot;, acted as the victims in a fake vehicle accident involving alcohol in front of the school grounds on U.S. 61 North.

&uot;Hey don’t pull that sheet over my head,&uot; said a narrator reading for the deceased victim. &uot;I can’t be dead. I’m only 17.&uot;

Although gruesome and designed to be realistic, school and local officials hope the drill sent a powerful message to the students.

&uot;We wanted to show the nonglamorous part of the ills of drinking and driving,&uot; said Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff, who hopes to do similar drills at all Natchez schools.

During 31 years in law enforcement, Huff said he has gone to the home of a teenager 16 times to tell parents their child will not be coming home. He wants students to think about these risks before they drink and drive, get into a car with someone who has been drinking or allow one of their friends to drink and drive. &uot;Is it worth it? Is it worth it?&uot; Huff said. &uot;I want you to think about that.&uot;

A somber group of Trinity High School students witnessed the aftermath of accident which was complete with fake blood, broken glass, emergency vehicles, the use of the jaws of life and one paramedic acting &uot;drunk&uot; harassing the police and the victims.

The drill ended with &uot;injured&uot; students being moved into ambulances and the deceased girl being placed in a body bag.

Several students said they were speechless by the realism of what they saw.

&uot;It looks pretty real. It’s kind of scary,&uot; said William Foley, a Trinity senior. &uot;It’s so realistic looking.&uot;

Senior Maggie Peterson agreed the drill looked real &uot;especially with all those ambulances and police cars coming up here,&uot; she said.