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Mock accident raises South Allegheny student awareness of drunk driving

| Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 1:31 a.m.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
South Allegheny High School students took part in a mock accident Monday morning. STAT MedEvac and Elizabeth Township EMS personnel prepare to transport student Desirae Harding, acting as an injured passenger.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
During a mock accident at South Allegheny High School on Monday morning, student Kennedy Figas portrays a drunk driver while Liberty police officers Troy Mitchell and Don Harrison conduct a sobriety test before handcuffing her and placing her in the back of the police car.

With South Allegheny High School's prom rapidly approaching, students took part in another rite of spring on Monday.

Those going to Friday's prom were given a demonstration of what could happen if alcohol becomes part of their celebration.

“We want to show the kids the effects of drunk driving and distracted driving,” said Jill Moorehead, administrative coordinator for Elizabeth Township Area EMS, which serves Liberty where the high school is located.

“We were going to a party after the prom,” said Jessica Hadam, who played the passenger in a sober driver's car who dies in a head-on crash with a drunk driver's vehicle.

“It was a head-on collision,” said Jamie Voytovich, who played the sober driver. Classmate Kennedy Figas played the drunk driver, who was able to walk away from the crash but was arrested.

“This person is impaired and has caused an accident where there was a fatality,” said Elizabeth Township Area EMS paramedic Capt. Dwayne Beere.

“All the patients are going to be entrapped in the vehicle,” Moorehead said. “We have seven patients, all with traumatic injuries.”

Jessica and Kennedy, both seniors, and Jamie, a junior, were among 11 members of South Allegheny's chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions taking part in the mock crash.

“It shows students not to drink and drive, because everyone pays the consequences,” said Libby King, a freshman and self-described back-seat driver for this demonstration but still one of those said to be critically injured.

“I'm on death's door,” said Ryan Bednar, another senior and SADD chapter president, who played a passenger flown to a hospital in a medical helicopter.

Moorehead said everyone else was going to be taken to hospitals by ground ambulances.

Liberty police, Lincoln EMS, and volunteer fire departments from Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln and Port Vue were involved, as was Elizabeth Township's Central Volunteer Fire Co.

Authorities said it would take 3-4 minutes for emergency crews to arrive at the scene of the crash.

Other students involved in the mock crash included Desirae Harding, Taryn Barnes, Shannon Schubert, Rachel Kish, Haley Carter and Bailey Johnson.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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