3D Event Against Impaired Driving

Lenore Dougherty and Kylie Sommer-Kohrt

On April 25 and April 27, Grafton High School and local emergency services collaborated on a 3D demonstration depicting the dangers of drunk and distracted driving and their consequences.

On Wednesday, students were dismissed from class at 12:25 to observe a simulated crash in which police put OJ Jackson, who played the part of the drunk driver in the scenario, through the actual tests used during drunk driving traffic stops. The simulation ended with a hearse ride for junior Haley Sutton who played the dead victim in the staged car crash and a helicopter lift for senior Chase Green who played the victim in critical condition.

“Working at the 3D program was an amazing experience and working with the police staff was definitely one of the best parts. They are a group of genuinely caring people who got to know all of us,”  Green said.

The video that was presented on Friday showed Green’s trip to the hospital and the announcement of his death in an operating room. In addition to the video that was shown, the mom of an actual drunk driving victim spoke and students who were meant to represent the victims of drunk driving gave their eulogies.

The whole program was extensively planned and those involved in it said they hoped it would save lives.

“The feedback we have gotten back over the years shows it has helped some students change their driving habits,” Sergeant Jeff Charvel said.

Some students said the program did impact them and they were moved by the simulation and eulogies.

“It was really moving to see the faces of people I knew around school in a car accident. It really drives home the point that these kinds of accidents can happen to anyone,” sophomore Megan Phan said.

Junior Chris Heyen also said the program impacted him and that it made him more aware of the responsibility of getting behind the wheel of a car.

Most of the teachers and parents involved in the program also said they were impacted.

Mrs. Laura Parker, the Athletics Coordinator at Grafton and junior Haley Sutton’s mother, participated in the video.

“For me, I was there when the students went to the sheriff’s office, the hospital, and the courthouse so I got to see first hand how much of an emotional experience it was for everyone involved,” Parker said.

Although Parker said she thought the program was effective overall because it brought together “a blacktop full of teenagers so silent you could hear a pin drop,” some students said they felt differently.

Senior Kayla Godin said she felt the 3D experience was just a scare tactic.

“The program is especially traumatic to a percentage of the student body,” Godin said.

Other students felt that parts of the program were effective while others were not.

“The speech by the parents, guest speaker, and kids were moving, but nothing else had an impact,” sophomore Tyler Sholtis said.

Sophomore Melissa Sun said that it was an interesting premise but she did not like the aspects that made it less realistic.

“The grim reaper killed the realism of the rest of the program,” Sun said.

Although there was a mixed response from students, the fire and rescue unit involved said they believed overall the program was successful.

“A deputy from the fire department said it was the best video they had seen students make,” Parker said.

Administration said they hope the program left an impact on students.

“I hope that from this program the students have learned to think twice and understand that their actions on the road can not only affect them, but also their friends, family, and community,” Mrs. Whitney Cataldo said.