WEIRTON - Just days before their prom, students at Weirton Madonna High School saw firsthand the dangers of drinking and driving.
Through a mock accident demonstrated on the school campus, students watched as one of their classmates was treated for injuries and another was pronounced dead. Two others were taken into custody by Weirton police following the two-vehicle accident scenario.
Crews from the Weirton Police Department, Weirton Fire Department and Weirton Area Ambulance and Rescue Squad responded to the scene, and a STAT MedEvac helicopter landed at the school's practice field to transport the injured girl to an area hospital.
"This is as real as it gets," Weirton Police Officer Steve DiBacco explained to the students.
As part of the demonstration, police officers performed a field sobriety test on the two students who were taken into custody, while firefighters used various rescue tools to free the others from their vehicle. While one was prepared for transport by WAARS personnel, her "deceased" friend was covered with a blanket.
"We see too much of this," DiBacco said.
LESSONS TO BE LEARNED — Emergency medical personnel treat the victim of a mock accident held on the campus of Weirton Madonna High School Tuesday. The two-vehicle accident scenario was played out in an effort to teach students about the dangers of drinking and driving. -- Craig Howell
Later in the day, students would hear accounts of some real-life accidents from local police, firefighters and other emergency personnel.
Weirton Madonna High School's prom will take place Thursday, with the promenade at 5 p.m. at the school, and students departing for Pittsburgh at 6 p.m.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)
Additional photos can be found on our CU site