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Don’t spare the blood: Apollo-Ridge looks to realism for mock DUI crash | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Don’t spare the blood: Apollo-Ridge looks to realism for mock DUI crash

Mary Ann Thomas
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Mary Ann Thomas | Tribune-Review
Students gather to watch a mock accident emergency response at Apollo-Ridge High School on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
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Mary Ann Thomas | Tribune-Review
EMT Luke Linnon of Oklahoma/Vandergrift EMS carefully moves Hannah Pozzuto, an Apollo-Ridge Senior, who was portraying an injured passenger, in a mock accident scene at Apollo-Ridge High School on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

A mock car crash that included a drunken driver, a dead passenger and other injured parties was the lesson of the day Wednesday at Apollo-Ridge High School.

Although mock accident scenes are nothing new, the high school decided to add flair or, rather, blood and make-up for students to look like they were injured. A body bag along with a real body — which was very much alive — made the crash scene look as real as possible.

“The more realistic we can make it, the more effective it will be,” said Dan Consuegra, principal of Apollo-Ridge High School. “They don’t need fluff.”

The accident scene re-creation served to warn students of the sometimes fatal consequences of driving under the influence, especially for the upcoming “Rustic Romance” prom on Friday night.

Kristin Womeldorf, 17, a junior, looked real with fake blood caked on the side of her face, dried in the hot sun Wednesday afternoon, for her role as the mock drunken driver.

For her, it felt real, too.

Fire trucks, ambulances and police converged on the “wrecked” vehicle as they would at a real accident scene and a police officer took charge of Womeldorf.

“It is scary to see all the vehicles coming,” she said of the posse of emergency vehicles. “It makes me re-think about what could happen to my peers.”

Womeldorf is vice president of the school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions group.

As the crowd of about 150 students chattered and police temporarily handcuffed Womeldorf, firefighters cut the roof off of the Chevy Malibu to reach two “injured” students.

All the while, Michael Booker, a senior, did his best acting to lay motionless in the open body bag. Booker played the front seat passenger who didn’t wear a seat belt and was thrown through the windshield onto the hood of the car.

But a hush fell on the crowd when the Armstrong County Corner Brian Myers got up to speak.

“How would you feel if that was your friend?” asked Myers pointing to Booker. Myers made a point to tell students that, in a real fatal accident investigation, his body may have to lie across the hood of the car for hours while investigators collect evidence.

Myers said that’s one of the gruesome details of an accident scene. Dead bodies will stay in place as emergency workers will first secure the safety of the victims who are alive. Then, they will not move anything until an accident reconstruction is completed.

“How do I tell his family that their son was fatally injured in a car crash?” Myers asked the crowd.

When Myers has broken such news before, he told the crowd of students, he’s had guns pulled and punches thrown at him.

“This bad decision will impact everyone in the car and your family for the rest of your and their lives,” he said.

Rich Stephens, a Kiski Township police officer and the Apollo-Ridge resource officer, said the coroner’s message plus the realistic nature of the crash scene, “gave kids a sense of how serious an accident is.”

Participating in Wednesday’s mock accident were almost 40 emergency personnel from Kiski Township and North Apollo fire departments, Oklahoma and Vandergrift EMS and Kiski Township police.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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